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Glenthorne to Porthcawl

Glenthorne to Porthcawl was first swum in the 1970's by channel swimming legend, Kevin Murphy and is the second longest route at 16 miles. Glenthorne was chosen because it was just inside Devon on the English side; we arent sure why Porthcawl was chosen but its a very difficult place to hit due to the shape of the Welsh Coast and the speed and strength of the tides!

To hit Porthcawl, you arent actually swimming the minimum distance, that is some 12 miles to Nash Point. Kevins original swim however was to BLDSA rules which means his swim needed to start and finish within 800m of the named points. Starting in Glenthorne that meant the swim must finish NORTH of the river Ogmore which puts the landing point in Bridgend county, this also defines the boundary for an Original Triple Crown swim.


Themap below is a guide to the landing point noted in our list!


Ratified Swims

Gareth Leachman


Gareth Swam through the night in July, escorted by the SheeAnn. Details here. Pending Ratification

Lee Johnson

First Two way swim on this route! Pending ratfication. Detail here.

Paul Leonard


Paul was the first swim of 2024, from Porthcawl to Devon. Details here. Pending Ratification.

Rocio swam from Sandy bay to Devon on the 8/9/23. Details here. First known swim by a Costa Rican!

Andrew swam Porthcawl to Devon on the 7/9/23. Link to the details here. First Recorded swim by an Australian and oldest male to complete the original triple crown!

Victoria's second swim across the Bristol Channel after Glenthorne to Witches Point in 2021. Details here

Jo Bolton's second Bristol Channel swim after Penarth Weston last year! Details here

Barry Swam in Tandem with Dave Berry and completes the original triple crown. Details here.

Dave Swam in Tandem with Barry Murphy. Details of the swim here.

Graham Swam in August 2023 of a beautiful calm day! Details here. This swim completes the original triple crown for Graham having swum the English Channel in 2016 and 2017 and the North Channel in 2022

Liz Fry swam in August 2023 on a beautifully calm day and set a new course record! STR. Details here

Dina Swam from Glenthorne bay to Sandy Bay Porthcawl. This was the first recorded swim the BCSA have recorded, to make it all the way to Sandy Bay (all previous BCSA ratified swims have landed on Newton or Trecco Bay). This sets a new course record for Glenthorne to Porthcawl and completes the Original Triple Crown for Dina, also setting a new fastest aggregate time record! Details of the swim here.

John Swam in Tandem with Paul Georgescu, starting their swim in the evening of the 24/7 and swimming overnight, landing in Devon. Details of the swim here.

Paul Swam in Tandem with John Curley, starting their swim from Porthcawl on the 24/7/23. Paul is the second Romanian to swim the Bristol Channel, he landed in Devon which makes him the first Romanian to complete the 16 miles required for the Original Triple Crown (Paul has already having swum the English and North Channels)! Details of the swim here.

Lee swam from Glenthorne to Porthcawl last year and completed the Original Triple Crown earlier this year by swimming the North Channel earlier in 2023. In July he came back to the Bristol Channel to attempt and unprecidented two way crossing, Porthcawl to Glenthorne and back! Unfortunately the return swim was pulled a few miles from the Welsh coast but the first leg was successful, details here. Leg one ratified by the BCSA

Pat swam from Sandy Bay Porthcawl to Devon on the 19/9/22 in a time of 12 hours, 55 minutes. Believed to be first American to Swim the Bristol Channel and the oldest person to swim the Bristol Channel. Pat also completes the Original Triple Crown, also being the first American and Oldest person to do so!! Details of the swim here. Ratified by the BCSA

Martyn swam from Sandy Bay Porthcawl to Devon on the 19/9/22 in a record time of 9 hours, 10 minutes. This swim completes the Original Triple Crown, for Martyn having previously swum the English and North Channels. Its also the record total time for the OTC! Details of the swim here. Ratified by the BCSA

Tom swam from Sandy Bay Porthcawl to just inside Foreland Point, Devon on the 6/8/22 in a time of 12 hours, 7 minutes; his fifth Bristol Channel solo! Details of Toms swims here.

Avram swam Glenthorne to Porthcawl the same day as Elaine below! He landed near to Whitmore Stairs in 11 hours 42 minutes. This is the first recorded crossing by a Romanian swimmer. Details of Avrams swim here.

Elaine swam the historic route in July 2022, landing on the West bank of the river Ogmore to become the second female to complete the Original Triple Crown, and the first female to complete on this route. Deatils for the swim including the reports, pictures and video are here.

Sarah swam from Glenthorne to Porthcawl, landing on Trecco bay in a time of 12hours 21. The swim was observed by Kevin Murphy and ratified by the BCSA. More detail here!

Lee Swam from Glenthorne to Porthcawl on 22/6/22. The swim is ratified by the BCSA and details of his swim including pictures and video are here!

Tom swam 3 crossings in 2021, this was the longest (in time and distance). He swam from Porthcawl to Devon, landing a mile or so west of Glenthorne and was the first person to complete 'the reverse' of this historic route! The swim is pending ratification with the MSF. BBC write up here. Details of the swim and ratification documentation for the swim can be found here

Victoria Swam from Glenthorne towards Porthcawl on the 19th July 2021, landing just to the south of Witches Point in 8 hours, 32 minutes. The swim is pending ratification with the MSF. The documents we hold for this swim are here.

Claire Leighton

Need info. Pending ratification

Kamil came over to Swansea in 2019 with a view to being the first man to swim this route since 1982. His swim started out as a Tandem swim with his friend Emre but around the ten hour mark, Emre had to abandon. Kamil landed on the beach near Monk Nash in the dark in 13 hours and 9 mins to become only the third original triple crown swimmer. The swim is pending ratification with the MSF but there is some more info on the swim here.

Jeffrey Lloyd

Jeffrey Lloyd

D.I. Jones


Kaye Daniels

Kaye Daniels

Jane chose to swim the Bristol Channel to emulate her Grandfather, Harry Luscombe who swam the Weston Super Mare route back in 1920! She was the first woman to swim this route and set a new fastest outright swim time! More info on their swims here.

Ted Keenan

Back in 1975 Ted Keenan becaame the second person to swim this route following the king (of the English Channel!) Kevin Murphy. This swim was ratified by the BLDSA. His certificate can be found here!

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy, the king of the English Channel, swam the Bristol Channel in 1971, at the time this was the longest route swum across the Bristol Channel. It was ratified by the BLDSA

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