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Marc Newman | Open Water Swimmer

June 03, 2016

Marc Newman | Open Water Swimmer

Marc started swimming for Poole Swimming Club at the age of 8 and competed as an age grouper successfully up to regional level. At the age of 15 he became aware of open water swimming when a friend swam the English Channel at the age of 12 years old, becoming the youngest girl to complete the swim. Marc was a companion swimmer and this started his interest in open water.

In 1985 at the age of 17 Marc swam the English Channel for the first time. During the swim his progress was halted by the French Coastguard within 4 miles of the French coast. He was forced to tread water for over 2 hours before being allowed to continue. The anticipated arrival time for Marc's swim, had he not been stopped was estimated to be around 7 hours and 15 minutes. This would have smashed the then World record of 7 hours and 40 minutes.

The following year Marc was selected for the British Open Water Swimming Team to compete in the inaugural FINA World Cup Open Water Long Distance Swimming Championships in Lake Windermere. He won this race and remained in the British Team for the following 7 years, competing at the highest level in international Marathon races around the world.

Having notched up 5 Channel Crossings, 2 World Cup wins Marc retired from competitive open water swimming in 1993 aged 25 due to other commitments.

In 2013 - thirty years later - Marc finally dipped his toe back in the sea and re-discovered his love of open water swimming and in 2014 Marc was part of a team of 4 who completed a two-way English Channel swim. In late 2015 Marc had attempted another solo Channel crossing although this one ended early. It's fair to say "He's back!"

This year Marc is making another attempt at the English Channel - however this time starting from Dungeness in Kent. This crossing is nearly 25% longer than the traditional route and has never been completed.

" I am more than ever determined to make last year’s failure the one and only time that I have not completed a Channel Swim."

Marc is using his ambitious record attempt to raising funds for Julia's House, the Dorset Children’s Hospice

I have visited the hospice and it was a truly humbling experience. I encourage you to donate whatever you can afford. The hospice requires £4.7 million a year to operate, only 7% of which is funded by the government. The rest is received from charitable donations.

Marc's Just Giving page is a good place to help him raise funds for such a worthy cause.

Marc also has a really informative site www.swimmingthechannel.co.uk/


Age: 48

Pre-race Ritual: I am a bit OCD in my routine of setting out and getting prepared to get in the water.

Favourite Cheat Food: Has to be coffee and cake.

Career highlights:

  • 1985 First English Channel crossing
  • 1986 First ever FINA World Cup Long Distance Swimming Champion
  • 1986 Fastest Channel crossing in 8 hours 35 minutes
  • 1987 and 1988 winning the 32km Traversee International of Lac St Jean in Canada
  • Centenary Cup winner 1986, 1987, 1990 - Fastest Channel Crossing By a Briton
  • Inducted as honouree into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame