Four American Channel swimmers, Sullivan, Richards, Toth and Patterson at Dover

Four Channel swimmers

Four Channel Swimmers. Image shows four swimmers, from the right; the Americans Sullivan, Richards, Toth and Patterson, with members of their team.

Sullivan (far right) succeeded in swimming the Channel, 5th August 1923. Patterson, Richards and Toth all failed on the 12th August.

Henry Sullivan 1913 – 1923. From Lowell Massachusetts, he was the 3rd man to swim the Channel, on his 7th attempt, at age 34 in 1923. Left Shakespeare Cliff and landed at Calais sands, 26 hrs 50 mins.  Accompanied by the Folkestone lugger ‘Day Spring’ and 2 Dover galleys. He won the Channel Swimming Cup presented by A. Alexander (later first President of the Channel Swimming Association) and £1000 prize from the Daily Sketch.

He was in Dover preparing for another attempt in August 1914 when the declaration of war forced him to cancel and return to the USA.

England to France: 25/8/13 (failed), 25/8/20 (failed), 8/9/20 (failed), 9/9/21 (failed), 21/9/21 (failed), 5+6/8/23 (success) 

France to England: 25/8/21 (failed).

Charles Toth in Sept 1922 he swam for 16hrs and finished in mid Channel. In 1923, he had two  unsuccessful swims, 18hrs 09mins and 14hrs 05mins. The American from Boston successfully swam from France, landing between St. Margaret’s and Kingsdown, on his 3rd attempt in less than a month. He was trained by Burgess and accompanied by the Boulogne tug ‘Alsace’, 16 hrs 54 mins.  

England to France: 2/9/22 (failed), 11/8/23 (failed), 2/9/23 (failed).

France to England: 9/9/23 (success)                                    

Sam Richards. From Boston, USA. Failed 2/9/22 England to France and in his attempt of 11/8/1923, the Daily Sketch race, France to England. He was with Marciel, Patterson and Toth who also failed and Tiraboschi who succeeded.

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