Sport: Man Against the Sea

When Tom Blower looks at the sea, every wave seems to be flinging a challenge at him. In 1937 Tom, who is a strapping Nottingham mill hand, answered by swimming the English Channel in 13 hours 29 minutes, the fourth best time on record. That was not enough for Tom. No man had ever swum the Irish Sea; he decided to be the first.

He tried once a month ago, setting out from Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, to swim the 25 miles across the North Channel to Scotland. He covered nearly half the distance in seven hours, but then the treacherous currents and...

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