Channel Swimmers

Godfrey Chapman

First Englishman
1951 Daily Mail Race

Swimmer Godfrey Chapman
Age 21
Home Weymouth
Country England
Date of Swim 1951
Start Time
Swim Time 13 hours 02 minutes
Starting Point France
Finish England
Monitoring Body Channel Swimming Association
Official Observer
Pilot (Boat)
Club Weymouth Swimming Club

Godfrey competed in the 1951 race sponsored by the Daily Mail. He was the first Englishman to complete the course, finishing behind the English lady swimmer Brenda Fisher who was the first lady to finish. He placed sixth overall, in a time that was recorded by the Channel Swimming Association as 13:02; however, the time is recorded as 12:56 by Conrad Wennerberg in his book "Wind, waves and sunburn".

In 1966, Godfrey, Greg Schofield and Tom Watch organized a highly-successful first championship swim for the 10 mile course from Lulworth Cove to Weymouth. Godfrey had the extra pleasure in crewing for his 14-year-old son, Mark, who completed the 59.5F, choppy, 10-mile course in 6:07.
In 1982, Godfrey was one of five swimmers from Weymouth who had successfully swam across The Channel. Shown in the photograph with the other four who were equally famous in their own right.

Left-to-Right: Mervin Sharp (Then King of the Channel with 7 crossings); Philip Gollop who was the youngest to cross the Channel with his 13:45 crossing in 1965; Jacqui Hampson who, with a time of 15:32, in 1982 became the youngest person to have swum across The Channel; Greg Schofield; Godfrey Chapman.

Interestingly, apart from being from Weymouth, all five swimmers had attended the same school.

Material provided by Greg Schofield, CSA Secretary Audrey Scott's report in the 1982 Annual Report of the BLDSA,
and Conrad Wennerberg's book "Wind, waves and sunburn".

Created: 20th March 2005
Last Updated: 31st March 2005