36km ‘Coals to Newcastle Swim’

36km ‘Coals to Newcastle Swim’

Craig Clarkes Dream of Swimming the English Channel

Over the course of the previous 5 years (2015 – 2020) an intricate plan was mapped out for Craig’s attempt at a 2020 English Channel solo crossing. In 2017 Craig started his intensive and committed preparation to achieve such a feat.

Man swimming in the ocean doing freestyle. He is wearing a swim cap.

Craig Clarke during his intensive training sessions

Australian marathon swimmer Des Renford had made a huge impression on Craig Clarke’s early swimming years in the 1970’s. Ever since then Craig has held a dream of one day swimming the English Channel.

Craig and his loyal observer Paul Hunter using Pauls paddle to practice the Covid-19 1.5m apart rule!

Covid-19 strikes – what happens now?

The timing of COVID-19 has impacted on Craig’s dream which would have seen him swimming the English Channel this week! But instead of seeing his dream slip by the wayside, in true Aussie spirit, Craig took advantage of his unique training preparation. He developed the plan for the 36km “Coals to Newcastle” ocean swim. This swim in his home town at Newcastle, NSW Australia. A swim leg that has never been attempted nor achieved before.

Coals to Newcastle

The heritage of this course dates back over 100 years with coal ships loading from the Catherine Hill Bay jetty (swim starting point) and transporting coal into Newcastle Harbour past Nobbys Lighthouse (finish point for the swim). It also has a significant personal element with being in Craig’s home town. Also with his ongoing 38 year + career in coal mining. As well as being a long serving member and competitor of Swansea Belmont Surf Life Saving Club.

Save the Date – 22nd August 2020

This swim will happen on the first suitable conditions day from 22nd August 2020 and takes in as many of the challenges of the English Channel as possible including the one way distance, sea and air temperature, use of a support boat as well as the strict guidelines on waist to crotch swimwear only. So keep your eye out for Craig on any new upcoming Australian National New’s Broadcasts.


North Storm Dry Bag

We are also proud to mention that during Craig’s intensive training he has been relying on his North Storm 20 Litre dry bag to house his nutrition, towel and clothes. Craig uses his dry bag, in the ocean with his kayak paddler alongside him and in the support boat during the “Coals to Newcastle’ swim. 


Help Craig reach his Goal! Donate to Beyond Blue

Craig would like to dedicate this swim as a fundraising event for the Beyond Blue charity. For both his own personal reasons and all the ways that Covid-19 has impacted on our normal lives. Craig wants to make a difference and is inspired by the work that Beyond Blue does.

In support of this phenomenal marathon swim – support a fellow Australian and click the link below to help Craig reach his goal!

Beyond Blue – Everyday Hero – Coals to Newcastle Swim

Donate to Beyond Blue today and Support Craig Clarkes epic swim!

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