Open water swimmer profile: Bryan Finlay

Bryan was born in Coventry, England, in the Midlands. His father was from Tyneside, northeast England, and he would go to the seaside there every summer. The water was cold in the North Sea, so they didn’t often swim. As a child, Bryan was afraid of the water, but learned to swim when he was 9 years old.

Bryan’s love of swimming grew quickly after that. By 1960, Bryan was serious about open water swimming. Bryan has set many records over his long open water swimming career. Many still stand today.

Bryan’s standing records include: the Fleetwood-Morecambe swim in 1966, Coniston 2-way crossing in 1983, Lake Simcoe crossing in 1999, and Lake Erie crossing in 2001.

To learn more about Bryan and his swimming adventures, visit

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