31st August 2003

Jersey swimmers set a round-Guernsey record

Six swimmers from Jersey set a record when they swam around Guernsey in eight hours and 56 minutes. Alison Horsfall, Michael Lucas, Ian Anderson, Steven Toic, John Searson and Gerry Leonard started at St Martin’s point and swam the 21.1 mile circuit in relay.

Unfortunately, Gerry Leonard could only swim once, as after his first turn in the water he developed sea sickness and had to return to dry land. The sea had been rough throughout their attempt, which had been pushed back by one day because it had been too choppy on the 30th. That was when they had originally intended to make their attempt.

All of the participants were members of the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club, which has set several remarkable records in its time.

Solo swimmers

Alison Horsfall, a member of the relay team that completed the circuit around Guernsey, had previously swum the same loop solo, completing it in just nine hours and 39 mintues. She was the first person ever to have been recorded doing so.

She also became the first person to swim around all four of the largest Channel Islands. She circumnavigated Jersey (66km / 41 miles) in 10 hours and 20 minutes, Sark (12km / 7.5 miles) in four hours and 25 minutes, and Alderney (14km / 8.7 miles) in four hours and 33 minutes. She also looped Herm (not one of the big four at “just” 6km / 3.7 miles) in two hours and eight minutes.

In 1997, she swam from England to France (34km / 21 miles) in 17 hours and 24 minutes.

Other swimmers

In August 2011, 36-year-old Adrian Sarchet attempted to become the first Guernsey person to swim around Guernsey. He started at Castle Breakwater at 8am and headed north, but had to retire at 6.15pm after he’d completed around three-quarters of the circuit due to worsening sea conditions.

Jersey resident Neil Faudemer also got three-quarters of the way around Guernsey when he had to call off a charity fundraising attempt to circumnavigate the island in 2006. However, in 2015 he did become the first man to swim from Guernsey to Jersey, on his fifth attempt. The course had previously been completed by Ruth Oldham in 1962.


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Other events that occured in August

The Saumarez Memorial foundation stone was laid 1st
Guernsey won double-silver at the Commonwealth Games 2nd
Earl Grey was appointed Governor of Guernsey 3rd
A boy scout fell 250ft over a Torteval Cliff 4th
Jethou tenant was rescued from an up-turned boat 5th
A tomato ship and a tanker collided 6th
Human remains were found on Lihou 7th
The Beatles played at Candie Gardens 8th
The RAF bombed Guernsey Airport 9th
Guernesiais linguist Marie de Garis died 10th
Alderney experienced a total eclipse of the sun 11th
A minister was found dead at Icart Point 12th
Guernsey steam tramway is granted its concession 13th
Police found a bomb in Bluebell Wood 14th
Hanois Lighthouse’s foundation stone was laid 15th
Charlie Chaplin played in St Peter Port 16th
St Peter Port inundated with fish 17th
A royal visit… of sorts
The Rolling Stones played St Peter Port 18th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was published 19th
Archaeologist Crystal Bennet was born 20th
Mapmaking geologist John MacCulloch died 21st
St Sampson pensioner was buried in a landslide 22nd
Trident VI ran aground on its return from Herm 23rd
Queen Victoria visited Guernsey 24th
The post-Occupation military government was disbanded 25th
Wesleyans celebrated 100 years on Guernsey 26th
Oliver Reed was jailed in Guernsey 27th
Guernsey’s Reform Law was enacted 28th
Winston Churchill visited Guernsey with his wife 29th
Philip de Saumarez was discharged as a Jurat 30th
Jersey swimmers set a round-Guernsey record 31st