Sam Rockett, race organiser, encouraging Greta Andersen home

Sam Rockett

Greta Anderson winning 1958 Billy Butlin race at South Foreland in a new record time of 11hrs. 01min.

Between 1964-1978 Andersen was the first lady to complete 4 and 5 successful crossings; two for Denmark and three for USA

Greta Anderson made five successful swims: 1957, time 13hrs 53mins and 1958, time 11hrs 01mins, were both Butlin swims, both won by her outright; the 1959 Butlin swim she was the first lady home, time 15hrs 25mins; she swam England to France in 1964 in a new record time of 13hrs 14mins – this was a two way attempt, she swam for 9hrs 20mins on the return; in 1965 she swam from England to France in 13hrs 49mins. Greta also had 3 unsuccessful swims.

Born Copenhagen 1927. Moved to USA 1950. Married John Sinnichsen. Became an American subject in 1958 and competed under USA from then

She won gold and silver medals in the 1948 London Olympics. She was winner of the Ladies World Professional Championship at Atlantic City in 1956, the distance was 25miles, and Greta completed the swim in 10 hours 17 minutes. She is the holder of forty trophies, and 150 gold and silver medals. In 1958 she was the first person to swim the Santa Catalina Channel in both directions, (42.8miles) time 28hrs 28mins. She set world records in the 10, 25, and 50 miles.

Sam Rockett swam in the 1950 Daily Mail race and was the fourth man  to finish. He was Supervisor for the 1951 Daily Mail Race, an International race held in the “Festival of Britain year” and he was also supervisor for the Billy Butlin races from 1953 to 1959, and the Sir Billy Butlin long distance walk from John O Groats to Lands End.

He played County Water Polo for a number of Counties. He was author of the book “Its Cold in the Channel”.

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