Tom Watch - Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree
Country: Great Britain
Year of Induction: 1986
Tom has coached English Channel swimmers for 57 years. For over 60 years, Tom Watch has been a coach and mentor for long distance and channel swimmers needing support, training, encouragement and advice. Tom’s career began with Geoffrey Chapman in the 1951 Daily Mail Cross Channel race who was the first British swimmer to finish. He has accompanied more than 100 swimmers across the English Channel, both from his native Weymouth, but also from across the world. In 1965, he accompanied Phil Gollop, who became the youngest swimmer to cross at that time. Some of the swimmers he has mentored include Marc Newman, Chad Hunderby who made the fastest Channel Swimming Association crossing on record, Peter Jurzinsky, Jacqui Hampson who was the youngest female at the time, Samantha Druce, who at 12 years of age became the youngest of all time and Doc Counsilman, who was the oldest at that time. In 1982, Tom was an Observer on Jon Erikson’s historic three-way swim.