First Irishman to swim the English Channel
Place of Birth: Enniskillen
Current City: Enniskillen
When Ted became the first man to swim the Bristol Channel at its widest point in 1975, he completed a unique hat trick. It was the first time one man had conquered the three channels, North, English and Bristol. In 1972 he swam the English Channel in 18 hours, and 11 minutes; in 1973 he the North Channel in 18 hours and 27 minutes; in 1975 the Bristol Channel in 14 hours and 26 minutes (a record).
In 1984, Ted was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding swimming achievements.
Swimmer's Report â€“ English Channel
Direction:Â England to France
On Sunday, 12.08.1972 Ted set off from Shakespeare Beach, Dover at 3.23pm swimming front crawl with a stroke rate of 56-60 per minute, conditions were good and the sun was on Ted's back. Ted fed every hour and occasionally took a glycerine mouthwash because of the throat irritation from the salt water.
The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, therefore Ted swam through oil slicks, floating debris, and raw sewage, not to mention jellyfish. The water temperature averaged between 60-62 degrees F (15-16 degrees C).
Swimming through the night was most hazardous because of the fog. After 14 hours, Ted was only a mile from Cape Gris Nez, when the tide turned and the sea became fairly rough. At 9.34am on Monday 13th August, after 18 hours and 11 minutes of swimming, Ted came ashore at Sandgate Beach a few miles south of Cape Gris Nez.