Michael Read (GBR)
Honor Open Water Swimmer (2011)
FOR THE RECORD: KNOWN FOR MOST OF 26 YEARS (1979-2005) AS KING OF THE ENGLISH CHANNEL (33 CROSSINGS); FIRST TO SWIM 4 WAY LAKE WINDERMERE (42 miles, 26h 3m), HUNSTANTON – SKEGNESS-HUNSTANTON (40 MILES), MORA TO AMPOSTA (SPN) (65 KM) AND ENGLISH CHANNEL SWIM SIX TIMES IN ONE YEAR (1984); COMPLETED CROSSINGS AROUND ISLE OF WRIGHT (60 MILES), LOCH LOMOND (22 MILES), LOCH EURN (16 MILES), LOCK TAY (16 MILES), JEBLE TO LATAKIA SYRIA (25 MILES), EVIAN TO LAUSANNE (25 KM) AND NOEL RIVER INTERNATIONAL; CHANNEL SWIMMING ASSOCIATION (CSA) COMMITTEE (1973) AND CHAIRMAN SINCE 1993; 1960 OLYMPIC TEAM: 4x200m freestyle relay alternate.
Mike Read was an English school-boy butterfly champion who earned a position on Great Britain’s 1960 Olympic Team in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay. But he loved swimming in the open water and between 1960 and 2000, he swam in more than 150 British Long Distance Swimming Association Championships setting more than 25 records. He was the 25 Kilometer Lake Windermere International Champion in 1970 and the first person to swim four lengths of Lake Windermere in succession, a total of 42 miles in 26 hours. In total, Michael Read has completed England’s longest lake Windermere 39 times.
He was only the second person to swim around the treacherous waters of the Isle of Wright, 60 miles in 24 hours 36 minutes. In 1975, he became the first to swim Humstonton to Skegness and return, 40 miles in 16 hours 4 minutes. In 1979, he swam the English Channel six times in one season to capture the title King of the Channel. According to Channel Swimming Association Records, he retains the title today with 33 Channel crossings.
During the 1970’s, the Scottish Lochs became a target including 24 mile Loch Ness at 42°F in 14 hours 24 minutes, as well as Lochs Lomond, Earn, Rannoch and Tay. He was the first to swim from Mora to Amposta, Spain, 65 kilometers. Other swims include lake and sea crossings in Greece, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA.
In 1978, he was elected Honorary Vice President of the Channel Swimming Association and serves as President today. Mike believes in defending his titles and for over 55 years has done just that.