North Channel swims



  • Fantastic, congratulations to Darren!
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    Congrads Darren!
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    Mazel Tov, Darren!


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • Awesome! 7 for 7!!
  • GordsGords Syracuse, UTCharter Member
    Congratulations! I know who I'm voting for in Open Water male swimmer of the year. That's such a huge accomplishment and what a record! 7 attempts, 7 successes. Can't beat that.
  • SharkoSharko Tomales BayGuest
    Two fins up!!!

    "I never met a shark I didn't like"

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Congratulations, Darren! Incredible achievement!
  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    edited September 2013
    Thank you everyone for the amazing support - what a beautiful journey! 11:16 crossing between Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and Portpatrick, Scotland. We measured the water temperature from around 13-14C (55.4-57.2F) throughout the day. Saw plenty of Lion's Mane, however was able to navigate around the large ones and took a few small stings. Overall, just an incredible countryside and such friendly people - looking forward to the day I can return again! Will post the full report in the coming days.

    Cheers to adventure!!
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • Darren, Congratulations on an outstanding achievement and to bring honor to your fundraising goal, your chosen sport and being a respectable man.
  • having been the pilot and boat captain on this epic swim, the nomination for swimmer of the year should be a no contest. Fergal has shown the way.
  • QuintonQuinton Member
    edited February 2019
    Having come back to piloting swimmers on the North Channel after a 20 year break, it has been extremely satisfying to see some remarkable achievements this past season, 2 of which have been nominated for female and male swimmer of the year, very well deserved.
    Fergal Somerville swam in June, the earliest swim ever in probably the coldest water ever, a truly fantastic effort.
    Michelle Macy had an unsuccessful attempt in 2012 but came back this year with a superb effort and early jokes of lunch in portpartick were looking like a reality by noon. her record time was another remarkable achievement.
    other swimmers this season were defeated, "failure" is not a word to associate with the North Channel and none should consider they failed.
    Milko Van Gool came to have a go, by his own admission not a fast swimmer or out for any records, but he succeeded in taking the male record for fastest time.
    Pat gallant-Charette swam for 16 hours and was within less than a mile of the finish when adverse tides simply beat her, heartbreaking to have to stop when so close to a finish, a gallant attempt worthy of recognition.
    She intends returning.
    To all of them and those who did not make it, WELL DONE.
  • Fantastic achievements from all swimmers. They're making the crossing look easy, that's how good they are.
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Hey @Quinton, now that you are a member, how you feel about a Q&A here from people? We could start a new Q&A thread, and you could answer when you get a chance over a few days?

    For many members this would their first chance to talk to / ask questions of a such a hugely experienced pilot, (and the North Channel no less).

  • no problem with info, but probably better for them to contact me direct
  • FergalFergal Dublin, IrelandMember
    Fair play to you Quinton. You have been a fantastic support on my North Channel challenges in 2012 and 2013. I am very proud of my North Channel crossing and I am deeply indebted to you for your continuuing support and encouragement. Your enthusiasm and experience are fantastic and I am happy to reccommend you to any/all aspirants; even some of whom might consider taking me on the boat to participate in their success. I wish you all the success in the coming years. Your route, that you have developed and mastered, over the past year will produce more success in 2014 and you will be reflected in that success.
  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    Couldn't agree more. Thanks Quinton!
  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    I should add that I particularly like Quinton's point of including those who did not make it across. This is such a beastly swim that some unsuccessful crossings easily rank, in my view, with the best of the successful ones when it comes to grit and heroic determination.
  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    Well said @Fergal and @MvG! Hope to be back summer 2014 to crew for a friend - loved my time up there! @Quinton, question, how many people do you already have signed up for next year? Just wondering...
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • FergalFergal Dublin, IrelandMember
    Hey fellas, I work for Quinton now. I am happy to help anyone coming to take on the North Channel. So, anyone out there give me a call, drop me a line. If I can be of any help I'll be delighted to oblige.
  • johnyGjohnyG Dublin Ireland Member
    Hey Fergal I'd like to have a chat about it... Maybe after Christmas I'll get in touch with yea ,,, have a wonderful one ..
  • QuintonQuinton Member
    edited March 2019
    Some prime dates still available during July and August for any swimmer contemplating THE NORTH CHANNEL 2014
  • FergalFergal Dublin, IrelandMember
    If you are ever thinking of doing the North Channel then Quinton Nelson is your man. He successfully guided me across last year and followed up with Milko Van Gool (Men's record holder) and Michelle Macy (Fastest). Quinton pioneered and refined a new route (which deservedly has his name) that uses the best advantage of tides to take swimmers from Donaghadee to Portpatrick for the North Channel and his expertise is only matched by his experience. So, get on the email or phone to Quinton and book a date for your dream to become reality. You will find Quinton at

    Telephone: 0289 188 3403
    Mobile: 07811 230215

    I am based in Dublin and happy to help any North Channel aspirants with advice, equipment, company for swimming in Dublin and the odd swimmerman's tale or two. You can get me on, and

  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    Finnbarr Hedderman is swimming today as we speak. 34 kms in 11 degrees Celsius water!

    His tracker is
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    Is he done? Looks like he's hit land.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    The boat is racing away. Finnbarr is done!
  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    Yep, in 12h24m, great swim, hope we'll get a report soon. Swiss Icemiler Sabrina Wiedmer tomorrow. #trackerfever
  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    Received a message for a 10hr 03min crossing for Sabrina Wiedmer today in the North Channel! Can we get a second confirmation? WELL DONE. Very exciting to have two fast crossings already this summer!!
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Sabrina confirmed for 10h03m. @Fergal was on her crew, @CraigMoz & I were crew yesterday for Finnbarr. Temp was actually much higher than the initial temp I reported yesterday at 14C. I'll have a couple of blog posts on it in a few weeks. @Quinton was pilot for both swims and did a fab job. The man knows the NC like no other.

    BTW, the North Channel was Sabrina's first marathon swim! (For those who don't know, NC qualification has changed from requiring an EC solo first).

  • MvGMvG MauritiusCharter Member
    How were things jelly-wise?
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    Perfect. Some big non-stinging barrel jellies, a few Lion's Mane, but they were down deep. I saw one on the surface but it missed Fin. Almost all visible jellies disappeared after 3 hours.

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited July 2014
    Finnbarr leaving Donaghadee just after dawn, with Mew Island lighthouse in the distance.


  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber
    Gosh, Ireland's not photogenic at all is it?
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin

    Well done @slknight on your North Channel swim! 11h42m, a very quick time.

    How'd it go?

  • @evmo said:
    Well done @slknight on your North Channel swim! 11h42m, a very quick time.

    How'd it go?

    Thanks! It was painful. :D

  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member

    I've heard The North Channel described as being electrocuted while freezing to death.

  • @ColmBreathnach said:
    I've heard The North Channel described as being electrocuted while freezing to death.

    I would say that's a pretty accurate description!! :D

  • Guys guys...that sounds awful!

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited August 2019

    Forum co-admin Caroline Block @thelittlemerwookie completed her 4th swim between Ireland and Scotland yesterday, becoming undisputed Queen of the North Channel and breaking a tie with Kevin Murphy and Alison Streeter. Simply amazing.

  • @evmo said:
    Forum co-admin Caroline Block @thelittlemerwookie completed her 4th swim between Ireland and Scotland yesterday, becoming undisputed Queen of the North Channel and breaking a tie with Kevin Murphy and Alison Streeter. Simply amazing.

    Thanks, @evmo!!!

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