70-year-old oldest to swim the English Channel
Wednesday 31 August 2011
A retired breast cancer surgeon achieved his ambition of becoming the oldest person to swim the English Channel today.
Roger Allsopp set off from Shakespeare Beach in Dover, Kent, at 8am yesterday and swam for 17 hours and 51 minutes to claim a new Guinness World Record.
At 70 years and four months, he beat the current record holder, George Brunstad, the uncle of Hollywood star Matt Damon.
Retired American Airlines captain Mr Brunstad, from Connecticut, swam the Channel at 70 years and four days in 15 hours and 59 minutes on August 29 2004.
Mr Allsopp, from Guernsey, had to postpone his bid several times recently because of the weather.
He said: "I do feel an immense sense of achievement and relief that I have been successful. This has been an incredible personal challenge for me and my focus has always been to help raise money for Hope for Guernsey and Wessex Medical Research, a cause that I am extremely passionate about.
"Coupled with the fact that a man of my 'grand' age can achieve such a physical and mental challenge proves that you can live younger if you keep active in mind and body.
"I've never been one to sit on my laurels. Retirement has been wonderful but I know how important it is to keep active in mind and body to live a healthy retirement and so I set myself physical challenges to ensure that I keep as fit and healthy as I can. This record-breaking swim will hopefully raise a large proportion of the £750,000 that is needed to fund cancer research. The great thing about this money is that it will all go direct to purchasing this technology."
Anna Orford, Official Guinness World Records Adjudicator, said: "To swim the English Channel is a great challenge and to do it at the mature age of 70 years is astounding! We are very pleased to congratulate Roger on this achievement and in doing so setting a new Guinness World Record."
Mr Allsopp was backed by a support crew as he made the punishing 21 nautical mile crossing.
He geared up for the challenge after being inspired by an inscription at a pub in Dover marking Mr Brunstad's cross-Channel achievement.
His attempt came 136 years after British merchant navy captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the Channel, doing the breaststroke from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in 21 hours, 45 minutes.
Mr Allsopp has been raising money to fund world-class medical equipment to help advance cancer research at the University of Southampton.
The money would pay for new equipment to analyse the blood of cancer patients and non-cancer patients to develop a test that would give a pre-warning of cancer.
He has received a personal pledge of £250,000 from Derek Coates, the chairman of nutritional and well-being supplement company Healthspan.
Grandfather-of-three Mr Allsopp has a record of physical challenges having run the London Marathon aged 60 and completed his first Channel swim at the age of 65 in 2006, at the time becoming the oldest Briton to do so.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence witness contradicts athlete version
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...