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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Honoring Pilots Around The World

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame has recognized 8 Honour Pilots since 1961.

The male mariners (no women has ever been so honored) in the Hall of Fame are known for their histories of achievements as an escort pilot of channel swimmers. They exclusively include men who have plied the water between England and France in the English Channel:

2003: Reg Brickell, Sr., Great Britain
2004: Captain Leonard Hutchinson and William J. Long, Great Britain
2005: Michael Oram and Duncan Taylor, Great Britain
2007: David Whyte, Great Britain
2009: Reg Brickell, Jr. and Ray Brickell, Great Britain

But the number of escort pilots around the world is large and growing. Below shows a short list of the men and women who have safely escorted swimmers around islands, across channels, down rivers, and in lakes.

Similar to the piloting giants of the channel swimming world, we believe that pilots like Peter Bales of South Africa (shown above with Carina Bruwer) are also worthy of inclusion to the Hall of Fame. Their long history in the sport, the safety concerns they espouse, the optimal routes they navigate on behalf of swimmers are stuff of legend in the waters outside of the English Channel.

Bales, for example, is the chairman and one of the founding members of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association. He has been piloting around the waters of South Africa since the 1970s.

Bales wears a number of hats, all very well. In addition to his piloting duties, he has served as a support crew, observer, administrator and organizer of many open water swimming events in South Africa and continues to play a major role in the most challenging solo swims in Cape Town and other areas in South Africa.

A Short List of Escort Pilots Around the World (active, retired and deceased)
*Akis Melas
*Alejandro Abarroa
*Alison Streeter
*Altino Goulart
*Andy King
*Antonio Caballero
*Antonio Montiel Martin
*Arend Grondman
*Austin Poynton
*Bendt Lynge
*Benjamin Landis
*Bernhard Vondenbusch
*Bob Andrieux
*Bob de la Haye
*Brian Meharg
*Bruce Lippens
*Captain Bob
*Captain Chris
*Captain Don
*Captain Greg
*Captain Leonard Hutchinson
*Captain Mitch
*Captain Mizushima
*Captain William Long
*Charlie Gravett
*Charlie Lehr
*Chris Holtslcaw
*Chris Osmond
*Chris Volaski
*Cliff Golding
*Collin Gray
*Darren Willars
*Dave Fitzgerald
*Dave Kinley
*Dave Macmahon
*Dave Whyte
*David Churchhouse
*David de Villiers
*Dawn Brooks
*Denis Sullivan
*Dennis Schutt
*Des McLean
*Duncan Taylor
*Earl Sandvik
*Eddie Laird
*Eddie Spelling
*Edwin de la Cruz
*Eliot Powell
*Eric Hartley
*Frank Drum
*Fred Mardle
*Fred Schiel
*Gergö Kovács
*Giovanni Arena
*Glenn Drummond
*Greg Doolittle
*Greg Elliot
*Greg O'Connor
*Greg Porteus
*Greg Wise
*Gretchen Koffman
*Hal McCormick
*Hank Schram
*Harold Schiebel
*Hugh Tucker
*Ivan Shigaki
*Jack Gordon
*Jai Leal
*James Barrett
*James Buckley
*James Crill
*James Rocco
*James Whelan
*James Willi
*Jeremy Gooding
*Jerry Thompson
*Jim Dixon
*John & Lisa Matthews
*John Bartlett
*John Berry
*John Bollinger
*John Boreland
*John Defoe
*John Hendrick
*John Matthews
*John Pinnel
*John Pittman
*Karen Lippens
*Keith Finkelstein
*Kevin Sherman
*Lance Oram
*Lior Eliyahu
*Mahdi Aghir
*Malcolm Goodman
*Mark Peters
*Marshall Stein
*Mathew Clarke
*Matt Buckman
*Matt Landis
*Michael Manning
*Michael Oram
*Mick Le Guilcher
*Mick Martin
*Mickey Pittman
*Mike Bewley
*Mike McCorkle
*Mike Twigg-Smith
*Mike Yost
*Neil Streeter
*Nelson Wood
*Nick Jeffery
*Nicole Yost
*Norman Horner
*Pam Ladds
*Paul Foreman
*Paul Luuwai
*Paul Newman
*Pedro Umpiere
*Peter Bales
*Peter Mourant
*Peter Reed
*Quinten Nelson
*Rafael Gutiérrez Mesa
*Ray Brickell
*Ray Cooper
*Reg Brickell, Jr.
*Reg Brickell, Sr.
*Richard Bavaro
*Robert Andresen
*Robert Fernald
*Ron Knight
*Sara Hajdu
*Sebastian Sanchéz Rios
*Simon Ellis
*Spencer Dennis
*Steve Manning
*Stuart Gleeson
*Sue Frehse
*Tamas Hamor
*Terry Hirt
*Tim Dull
*Tim Toyne Sewell
*Tinch Moricich
*Tony Beddoe
*Tony Pascucci
*Tony Scalabrino
*Tony Trenholm
*Vito Bialla
*William J. Long
*Wolfgang Schlosser
*Woody Brown
*Zoltan Hamor

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