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Jabez Wolffe Biography

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Glaswegian Jabez Wolfe has been called the unluckiest Channel swimmer in history: Wolffe made at least twenty-two attempts and never succeeded. He failed by merely yards in 1911 and by less than a mile on three other occasions.

On his attempt on 31 August 1907, Wolffe was accompanied by Stearne and Heaton. Notably, Wolffe was also on occasion accompanied by Pipe-Major Nicholls who played the bagpipes in order to keep Wolffe's stroke rhythm in time at 29-32 a minute.

On other occasions, Wolffe used a gramophone aboard the pilot boat in order to keep himself entertained and to keep his stroke rhythm equal.

Despite never achieving his aim of crossing the Channel, Wolffe went on to coach several successful swimmers including Hilda Sharp, Peggy Duncan and Sunny Lowry. Wolffe also wrote a book Swimming Short & Long Distance, which was published in approximately 1937.

Wolffe's Attempts England to France:

  • 18 July 1906 (failed)
  • 30 July 1906 (failed)
  • 29 August 1906 (failed)
  • 22 July 1907 (failed)
  • 5 August 1907 (failed)
  • 31 August 1907 (failed)
  • 16 September 1907 (failed)
  • 6 July 1908 (failed)
  • 19 September 1908 (failed)
  • 26 August 1909 (failed)
  • 24 September 1909 (failed).

Wolfe's attempts France to England:

  • 31 July 1910 (failed)
  • 21 July 1911 (failed)
  • 2 September 1911 (failed)
  • 26 August 1913 (failed)

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