Retief, Miss Pat

In 1929 Jabez Wolffe advertised for female applicants to be trained to swim the Channel. From the hundreds of applicants he took on Mickey Westenborg from Wales and the 16 year-old Patricia Retief from South Africa. He was also still training old-hand Laddie Sharp from London. All three arrived in Brighton in early February 1930 for training

They moved to a training camp on the French coast at the end of July, even though Retief was to make an England-France attempt. She managed to make one attempt on 1st September that ended at the water’s edge due to fog (Westenborg had failed from France on the 27 August). She returned to South Africa a few days later with the intent of returning for the 1931 season but this never happened.

The attempt of Miss Pat Retief, the South African swimmer, to cross from England to France early this morning nearly led to a shipwreck. Miss Retief left Boulogne in the tug Jenner at eleven o’clock on Saturday night
01 September 1930 – Coventry Evening Telegraph

Miss Pat Retief, the other South African swimmer, has returned to South Africa, but has declared her intention to come back next year.
06 September 1930 – Hull Daily Mail

Swims by Retief, Miss Pat

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