Team of 80-year-olds set new record

Most octogenarians are quite happy spending their leisure time playing with their grandkids or strolling round the park. But when 84-year-old Don Baker heard that a group of 70-year-olds had become the oldest relay team to cross the Catalina Channel his first thought was: I can beat that record.

Don assembled a crack team of masters swimmers to attempt the 21 mile crossing. The Old Men and the Sea team consisted of 84-year-old Don Baker, 80-year-old Bill Spore, 81-year-old Dave Radcliffe (who swam in the 1956 Olympics), 84-year-old Graham Johnston (who swam in the 1952 Olympics), 82-year-old Bob Best and 85-year-old Bob Beach. 82-year-old Norm Stupfel was the reserve swimmer.

The team completed their 12 hour 15 minute crossing on 20 August, swimming into the record books as the oldest relay team to cross any of the world’s major channels.

What next for the Old Men and the Sea? Well, they are already talking about the English Channel…

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I created Outdoor Swimmer in 2011 (initially as H2Open Magazine) as an outlet for my passion for swimming outdoors. I've been a swimmer and outdoor swimmer for as long as I remember. Swimming has made a huge difference to my life and I want to share its joys and benefits with as many people as possible. I am also the author of Swim Wild & Free: A Practical Guide to Swimming Outdoors 365 a Year and I provide one-to-one support to swimmers through Swim Mentoring.