Toufic Bleik of Lebanon & Antonio Abertondo of Argentina. Seated, Baptista Pereira of Portugal

Sir Billy Butlin Swim 1954. Competitors from the Billy Butlin races Standing: Toufic Bleik (wearing glasses) of Lebanon, and next to him Antonio Abertondo of Argentina, seated is Baptista Pereira of Portugal, winner of the 1954 Billy Butlin race

Abertondo in 1961 became the first swimmer to swim the Channel in a solo two-way channel swim. He completed it in 43 hours 10 minutes.  Abertondo made one unsuccessful attempt Aug 7 1950, time 25 hours. He was one mile from England.

1950 Aug 22 and 1951 Aug 16 were Daily Mail races. He was placed 8th and 14th. 1954 Aug 21 Was a Billy Butlin race. He was placed 6th.

In 1950 he swam 168 miles down the river Plate in 61 hrs. He once swam 291 miles down the Mississippi River in 3 days, 9 hours. Abertondo was sponsored by the Argentine Government.

Baptista Pereira won the Billy Butlin 1954 Cross Channel Swimming Race, winning in a time of 12hrs 26secs.

In the 1959 Butlin swim he was placed 3rd in a time of 13hrs 12mins. He also entered the 1955, 1956 and 1957 swims but was unable to start.

He set a new record for the Strait of Gibraltar in 5hrs 4mins in 1956 and he again set a new record of 4hrs 34mins.

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

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