Channel Swimmers

Philip Gollop

In 1965 - Youngest Man to have crossed The Channel
16 years ?? days

Swimmer Philip Gollop
Age 16 years ?? days
Home Weymouth
Country England
Date of Swim 4th October 1965. First Swim. See Table below for all four.
Start Time 04:01 am
Swim Time 14 hours 31 minutes
Starting Point Cap Gris Nez, France
Finish Abbots Cliff (West of Dover), England
Monitoring Body Channel Swimming Association
Official Observer R. Barrett
Pilot (Boat) H. Sharp
Club Weymouth Swimming Club
Trainer Tom Watch

In 1965, Philip became the youngest man and the second youngest ever to have crossed the Channel with a time of 14:31. The following report is taken from the Weymouth Swimming Club report that appeared in the 1965 Annual Report of the BLDSA.

Pilot H. Sharp. 4th October, 1965. Observer - R. Barrett. Water Temperature 58F. Trainer T. Watch. Time - 14 hrs. 31 mins. Started at Cap Gris Nez 04:01, having been greased with a base of Vaseline followed by Lanoline. With the wind blowing over his shoulders S.E. force 3 he was soon making good progress. After three hours he stopped for the first feed of chicken, honey and Ribena (Concentrated blackcurrant drink), chocolate and fruit. After that, feeds were every two hours, then every hour, except for the last three hours when no food was taken at all. When the sun rose, mist closed in quickly, and visibility was soon only half a mile. The Pilot then warned us that if the fog got any worse, the swim would have to be called off. Owing to the mist, land was not sighted till about 4 o'clock. Philip landed at 18:32 hrs below Abbots Cliff, which is between Folkestone and Dover, still comparatively fresh.

Philip crossed the Channel a total of four times, as summarized in the Table below:
1965 FE92 14:31
1967 EF28 13:45
1968 EF30 18:10
1969 EF36 14:28

Prior to his Channel swim in 1965, Philip broke Greg Schofield's record (Set earlier in the year) for the 20-mile "Weymouth to Lulworth Cove and Return" swim. Philip's time of 10:35 broke Greg's record by 5 minutes. The inaugural record had been set by Godfrey Chapman in 1951 with a time of 10:50.

Philip was certainly at home in rough sea water. In the inaugural "Lulworth Cove to Weymouth" championship, in a choppy sea, he finished second to Geoff Lake (4:14) with a time of 4:43:02, ahead of Mervyn Sharp who placed 11th in 5:34. Philp made a spectacular finishing burst to overtake American Harry Huffaker and beat him by 30 seconds

Also in 1965, Philip competed in the 8-mile BLDSA sea-swim at Torbay. He finished 8th in a time of 4:45:58, behind his colleague Greg Schofield who placed third in 4:11:36. Philip also took 8th place in the 1966 Torbay championship with a time of 4:03. That same year, 1966, Philip also competed in the first International Windermere championship, completing the 10-mile course in 6:45:29 to take 10th place. He also competed in the 1966 BLDSA Bala two-way (6 mile) championships with colleague Mervyn Sharp; Philp placed 5th in 3:21:10, ahead of Mervyn who took 8th place in 4:13:15.

Pro Circuit ??? Wennerberg?
In 1982, Philip 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; 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 whose 13:02 made him the first Englishman to complete the Daily Mail race of 1951.

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

Material provided by Greg Schofield and the 1965 Annual Report of the BLDSA.

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