Ned Barnie & Toufic Bleik greasing up for the start of the 1954 Race.

Ned Barnie & Toufic Bleik greasing up for the start of the 1954 Race.

Cap-Gris-Nez. Pas-de-Calais. France. Ned Barnie of Great Britain and Toufic Bleik of Lebanon,

Ned Barnie was the first Scotsman to swim the Channel in 1950. Time 14hrs 45mins in the Daily Mail Race. He was the first man to swim it in both directions in 1951; The first swim was England to France, 19hrs 02mins and the second was in the Daily Mail swim in 15hrs 01mins. He made 6 unsuccessful attempts between 1952 to 1956. 

Toufic Bleik, Lebanon, swam from France to England 3rd August 1953. His time was 16hrs 5mins. In July he was unsuccessful, he swam for 12 hours.

For his one successful swim, Bleik set off from Cap Gris-Nez in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday Aug 3. 1953. He landed at St Margaret’s Bay shortly before 6.00 pm. His time was 16 hrs 05 min. He swam into a thick patch of oil discharged from a tanker and had some difficulty with his goggles.

In the Butlin’s International Channel Swim 1954, Toufic Bleik was 22 years old, and was unsuccessful after having swam for 16 hours.

He had three unsuccessful attempts in all: 25/07/1953 (12 hours), in the 1954 Billy Butlin race swam for 16hrs and in 1955 he swam 3hrs 53mins in the Butlins race.

From the Sam Rockett Collection.  A Black and White Photograph.

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