Swim-ply the best! Louth’s Tony Espin breaks world record

Tony Espin. EMN-150921-135645001
Tony Espin. EMN-150921-135645001

Tony Espin made a splash this month when he completed a record-breaking relay swim across the English Channel - as part of the oldest team to ever complete the challenge.

Tony (74) joined the six man team - called The Septuagenarians, with an average age of 74 years and 14 days - who set off from the south east coast of 
England in the early hours of September 7.

Tony Espin. EMN-150921-135708001

Tony Espin. EMN-150921-135708001

The team reached the cliffs just south of Cap Gris Nez in France after just 11 hours and 56 minutes, 
with Tony walking ashore after taking the final leg of the swim.

This remarkable time meant that, in addition to becoming the oldest team ever to successfully swim across the Channel, the Septuagenarians also achieved the fastest crossing by a six man team so far 
this year.

The crossing was never going to be an easy 
challenge - especially with one of the team members recovering from broken 
wrists - but Tony told the Leader: “As far as I was concerned, there would 
be no failure.”

He continued: “The sea was rough, with huge swells with white horses 
capping the crests, and the wind was force 
three or four.”

The relay team used the ‘Connemara’ boat, piloted by Kevin Sherman, as their base, and Tony’s teammates were Robert Lloyd-Evans, Graham Ling, David Cumming and Tony Cherrington.

The sixth member was Michael Read MBE, who is 
the President of the 
Channel Swimming Association (CSA) and 
the ‘King of the Channel’, a title which is given to the man who has successfully completed more solo cross-channel swims 
than any other.

Michael invited Tony to take part in the relay at a formal dinner for long-distance swimmers 
back in February.

Besides Michael, Tony was the only other member of the team to have completed a solo Channel crossing in the past, having successfully 
taken on the challenge 
in August 1978.

Back then, the challenge took him 14 hours and 13 minutes to complete, and made him the only man in Lincolnshire to have completed a solo 
Channel swim from 
England to France.

After the recent relay, Tony said: “I would like to thank Grimsby and Cleethorpes Yacht Club for the use of their facilities for training.”

Tony also trained at Alexandra Dock in Grimsby and at the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth.