Channel Swimmers

Petar Stoychev

World Record E-F

Swimmer Petar Stoychev
Age 30
Country Bulgaria
Date of Swim 24th August 2007
Start Time 10:11 am
Swim Time 6 hours 57 minutes 50 seconds. WORLD RECORD.
Starting Point Shakespeare Beach, England
Finish Cap Gris Nez, France
Monitoring Body Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation
Official Observer Jennie Hanson, Alison Streeter
Pilot (Boat) Michael Oram (Gallivant)
Club ???
Coach ???
Crew Michael Oram, Derek Carter

On 24th August 2007, Petar Soychev became the first person to cross the Channel under 7 hours, and taking 6 minutes and 2 seconds off the record set by Christof Wandratsch in 2005. On the same day as Petar, Russian swimmer Yuri Kudinov started, with his pilot Dave Whyte, 18.5 minutes behind Petar and completed the same course in 7:05:42. Yuri was the 2007 winner of the 25 km FINA World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia with a time of 5:16:45.55 - almost two minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.

Born on 24 October 1976 in Momchilgrad, Bulgaria, Petar Stoychev first crossed the Channel in 2006 in a time of 7:21:08 - comparable to Christof Wandratsch's first crossing of 7:20 in 2003. The swims by Stoychev and Wandratsch provide an excellent example of the effects that Boat Pilot, tides, and weather play in a successful fast crossing of the Channel. Indeed it is speculative to compare Channel times that are produced on anything but the same day, with the same starting time . . . and probably requiring the same pilot for a true comparison !

For the purposes of comparison, the record-breaking courses of both Petar and Christof are shown below, as plotted by their pilot, Michael Oram:

The two photos above, from Petar's record-breaking swim, and the course plots for Petar and Christof, were produced by their pilot, Michael Oram.

In 2007, Petar was reported to have swum at many locations around the world in becoming the overall winner of the Open Water World Championship seven times.

In 2005 he set a new record at the 2005 Atlantic City Swim with a time of 7:24:12, and took third place in the FINA World Championships in Montréal, Canada in both the 10 km and 25 km events. The times for the 2005 Montréal events are shown below and help to emphasize the closeness of these world-level swimmers when swimming under the same conditions. Of further interest is that David Meca, winner of the 25 km in that 2005 FINA World Championship, crossed the Channel in both 2004 and 2005 with times of 7:46 and 7:22 respectively; Reg Brickell was David's pilot.
Event Gold Time Silver Time Bronze Time
Men's 10 km Chip Peterson
United States
1:46:38.1 Thomas Lurtz
1:46:45.2 Petar Stotchev
Men's 25 km David Meca
5:00:21.4 Brendan Capell
5:00:23.6 Petar Stoychev

Material provided by Michael Oram, Wikepedia, Atlantic City swim. and the CS&PF
Times are taken from Julian Critchlow's Channel Master Database

Created: 25th November 2007
Last Updated: 1st December 2007