Simple Superb Filmmaking – Vindication Swim to Launch on March 8

By: The Daily News Of Open Water Swimming

To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore

SHARED FROM: DNOWS / January 22, 2024

Simply superb…a constant visual treat”, raves Peter James.

Beautifully shot and very moving”, says The Lady.

The next wave of films about open water swimmers is underway. First with Nyad, initially released in the USA starring Annette BeningJodie Foster, and Rhys Ifans, and currently showing worldwide on Netflix. Next up is the Vindication Swim about the life and achievements of Olympian and channel swimming icon Mercedes Gleitze that will be released on March 8th in the UK and Ireland, starring Kirsten Callaghan who portrays Gleitze and John Locke who portrays her coach Harold Best.

There are several other films currently under development, an exciting new era of filmmaking about open water swimmers.

But right now, the next film up for public consumption is the Vindication Swim produced by Relsah Films with Sally HumphreysDouglas McJannet and Simon Hasler. The movie will be launched on International Women’s Day, and was written and directed by Elliott Hasler. Starring Kirsten Callaghan, John Locke, Victoria SummerJames Wilby, and Douglas Hodge. The film is scored by Emmy winner and Grammy nominee, Daniel Clive McCallum, with post-production completed at Warner Bros. De Lane Lea Studios.

For additional details of the film, visit here.

The film website is here.

Vindication Swim follows Gleitze, who became the first British woman to swim the English Channel in 1927. The film depicts her upstream struggle in overcoming both the cold waters of the English Channel and the oppressive society of England in the 1920’s. However, after a rival comes forward claiming to have accomplished the same feat, Gleitze is forced into battle to retain her record and her legacy.

And what a legacy it was.

In 1933 Gleitze explained, “It’s having the willpower to endure the cold and not be disconcerted at the nearness of porpoises, dolphins and even sharks, to bear the pain of aching shoulders, knees and shins and to remain floating in the water with your arm seized with cramp and remain unperturbed when a large steamer passes too near. When you cannot have the hot drinks you’ve longed for and when an attack of sleep threatens to send you to the land of oblivion, but to have the courage to say I want to carry on.”

Gleitze (1900-1981) was a British pioneer and marathon swimmer from London who is a dual inductee having been voted by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in it Class of 1969 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Open Water Pioneer Swimmer in its Class of 2014.

Open Water Swimming Highlights

  • In 1927, she became the first British woman to swim 33.5 km across the English Channel on her eighth attempt in 15 hours 15 minutes from France to England.
  • She attempted to cross the 35 km North Channel 6 times, but never finished on any attempt:
  • In 1928, she became the first person to swim the Strait of Gibraltar in 12 hours 50 minutes, starting in Cruces, Tarifa, Spain and finishing in Punta Leona, Morocco at the age of 28.
  • She accomplished a variety of marathon swims in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa including setting a British female record of 10 hours 45 minutes for swimming in the Thames River in 1924.
  • In 1929, she swam Lough Neagh in Ireland in over 20 hours.
  • In 1940, she swam Hellespont in over 2 hours.
  • In 1941, she swam across Galway Bay in over 19 hours in Eire, Ireland.
  • In 1941, she swam across Sydney Harbour in Australia.
  • She swam in Cape Town, South Africa in 1942 to bring the total number of marathon swims to a 51 with 25 of her swims taking at least 26 hours to complete.
  • She completed a 40-hour endurance swim in the Eglington Street Swimming Baths in Cork, Ireland in February 1940.
  • In 1924, she swam in the Thames, setting the British Ladies’ Record for Thames Swimming over a 42 km stretch between Putney and Silvertown, in 10¾ hours.
  • Between July 18th and 29th 1926, she swam down the Thames from Westminster Bridge to Folkestone (193 km total in stages).
  • On October 6th 1926, she swam 33.5 km across the English Channel from France to England.
  • In 1929, she swam across The WashLough Neagh (widthwise and lengthwise), Loch RyanFirth of Forth, from Portstewart to Moville that was called short after 5 hours due to rough conditions, 22.5 km in Lough Foyle from Moville to Portstewart in 6 hours 55 minutes, commissioned by the Town Clerk of Portstewart Urban Council to boost tourism,
  • Between June 14th and 18th 1940, she swam around the Isle of Man (193 km in stages).
  • In 1940, she swam across the Hellespont (Dardanelles) from Europe to Asia Minor (both ways), in the Sea of Marmara, and across Wellington Harbour in New Zealand.
  • In 1941, she swam from Rangitoto Island to Cheltenham in New Zealand, won the Manly Swimming/Floating Competition (48 hours) in Sydney, Australia, and swam across Galway Bay in Eire, Ireland.
  • In 1942 in South Africa, she swam between Cape Town and Robben Island (both ways), in the Swartkops River and Cape of Good Hope, in the Buffalo River in East London, in the Modder River, Glen, Bloemfontein, in Germiston Lake in Johannesburg, in the Hartebeestpoort Dam in Pretoria, and in the Vaal River in Vereeniging.

She was not afraid to challenge herself and did not complete many attempts including:

  • In 1928 and 1929 between June to November, she made 6 attempts at swimming across the North Channel.
  • In September 1928, she swam 14 hours in Blackpool, UK, but her target was 25 hours.
  • In 1940, she made attempts in the Moray Firth and across the Bristol Channel, and across the English Channel.
  • In 1944, she attempted one last attempt at the English Channel from England to France at the age of 44.

She also did a number of endurance swims in pools around the world

  • 26 hours: Edinburgh in 1929 and 1940 in the Infirmary Street Baths
  • 28 hours: Dublin, Eire in February 1940 in the Tara Street Baths
  • 40 hours: Cork, Eire in February 1940 in the Eglinton Street Baths
  • 41 hours: Liverpool in March 1940 in the Westminster Road Baths
  • 42 hours: Derby in March 1940 in the Reginald Street Baths
  • 44 hours: Huddersfield in April 1940 in the Ramsden Street Baths
  • 44 hours: Belfast in April 1940 in the Ormeau Baths
  • 45 hours: Leicester in May 1940 in the Belgrave Baths, Cossington Street
  • 46 hours: Sheffield in May 1940 in the Glossop Street Baths
  • 46 hours: Douglas in June 1940 in the Henry Bloom Noble Baths
  • 48 hours: Stafford in July 1940 in the Royal Baths
  • 49 hours: Wolverhampton in July 1940 in the Municipal Baths
  • 40 hours: Leicester in September 1940 in the Belgrave Baths, Cossington Street
  • 40½ hours: Dundee in September 1940 in the Central Baths
  • 41 hours: Hull in October 1940 in the Madeley Street Baths
  • 41½ hours: Newcastle in October 1940 in the Northumberland Baths
  • 42 hours: Dublin, Eire in November 1940 in the Tara Street Baths
  • 42½ hours: Wellington, New Zealand in 1940 in the Boys Institute Baths, Tasman Street
  • 44 hours: Auckland, New Zealand in January 1941 in the Auckland Tepid Baths
  • 44½ hours: Christchurch, New Zealand in March 1941 in the Manchester Street Tepid Baths
  • 44 hours: Adelaide, Australia in April 1941 in the Crystal Swimming Pool, Unley
  • 44½ hours: Melbourne, Australia in April 1941 in the Brunswick Baths
  • 45 hours: Rotherham in December 1941 in Main Street Baths
  • 45½ hours: Chesterfield in January 1942 in the Central School Baths
  • 46 hours: Cape Town, South Africa in March 1942 in the Long Street Baths
  • 46½ hours: Huddersfield in 1944 in the Cambridge Road Baths
  • 46 hours: Worthing in May 1944 in the Corporation Baths

Gleitze was also the subject of a documentary film by Clare Delargy entitled Mercedes: The Spirit of a New Age.

Gleitze’s legacy also indirectly touches channel swimmers to this day. Her English Channel crossing helped launch the first waterproof watch made by Rolex, marketed as the Rolex Oyster.

For more information and updates, visit Vindication Swim Film here.

© 2024 Daily News of Open Water Swimming

to educate, enthuse, and entertain all those who venture beyond the shoreline

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