Wayne Soutter – Our Man of the Year

31 12 2012

WayneBallycastleHarbour .jpg
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”

In congratulating Wayne Soutter who finished third in the 2012 International the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, Ballycastle Councillor Dónal Cunningham has described the South African as our “Man of the Year”.

 “Very early in his preparations, Wayne became a good friend of Ballycastle and in particular the volunteers who make up the local Community Rescue Service.  So impressed was Wayne with the concept and value of the Community Rescue Service that he dedicated all his efforts to their cause.”

I have no doubt that these friendships will endure and that Ballycastle will feature in future “Soutter projects”

 “Wayne has been an inspiration to us all, his display of courage and determination, as he swam through hundreds of jellyfish, endured unimaginable physical pain and tackled six feet high waves –  as he became the first person ever to swim from the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland to the North Antrim coast impacted on us all”.

 The swim is one of the most treacherous and volatile stretches of water in the world and despite several attempts, no-one had managed to complete it, not until Wayne.

See video.


Vote Wayne – Open Water swimming man of the year

29 10 2012

SDLP Ballycastle Councillor, Dónal Cunningham is asking the local community to get behind South African swimmer Wayne Soutter in the online vote for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.

“The prestigious award is to honour the individual who best embodies the spirit of open water swimming, and possesses the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and has most positively influenced the world of open water swimming during the year. If anyone has displayed these attributes it is Wayne Soutter”

“Wayne became the first person to swim from the Mull of Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland to Kinbane on the North Antrim coast. It was a 20.2 km swim that had been attempted before in the 1920′s, but this course had been buried in the annals of history because it was considered too hard, practically impossible, and preposterously unreasonable. The tides and currents
in this stretch of water were unthinkably difficult.”

“Wayne fundraised exclusively for local Charity Community Rescue Service and this is our chance to repay his courage and generosity.”

For his 12 hour 11 minute crossing of the North Channel, and for his audacious dream realized, for ignoring assumptions and convention, Wayne Soutter would be a worthy winner of the title 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.”

To vote for Wayne go to


Article from Glasgow Herald

29 08 2012

Swimmer reveals delight at beating icy seas


A SOUTH African man has told of his delight at being back on dry land after battling through a gruelling 12-hour swim to become the first person to cross a treacherous stretch of the North Channel.


Wayne Soutter said he was thrilled to have completed the mammoth task after facing stinging jellyfish, bone-chilling water, gripping currents and large waves.

The 43-year-old, who is raising money for the Community Rescue Service, swam about 12 miles from the southwest tip of the Mull of Kintyre to Kenbane Head in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland.

It is a route many endurance swimmers have failed to conquer and the married father-of-two said he was overcome with relief as he finally stepped ashore at around 11.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Soutter said: “When I eventually reached the shore it was just relief that the swim was over. It wasn’t elation at all, I was just glad it was finished.

“But when I started getting warmer again and felt a little bit better, the enormity of what I had achieved started to hit home.

“I’m just thrilled to prove that it’s doable and I’m sure there will be a number of swimmers now keen to give it a go.”

The computer software boss, who now lives in London, said he was ready to give up just five hours into the challenging swim, but his support team kept him going.

He said: “About five hours in I told the team on the boat that I wanted out, but they talked me into continuing for half an hour.

“They said, ‘Just do another half hour and we’ll let you know how far away we are,’ and then after that they said, ‘Just do another half hour and then we’ll see.’

“They kept telling me how well I was doing and hung a carrot out in front of me all the way across the channel.”

As Mr Soutter set off from the Mull of Kintyre, he was covered head to toe in grease in a bid to keep warm.

He was then given hot water to drink every half hour throughout the challenge to keep his temperature up and was fed either a banana or porridge every hour and a half.

The swimmer said his two biggest challenges throughout the journey were jellyfish and the piercingly cold water temperatures.

He added: “There were two things that caused problems.

“One was the jellyfish – I’ve never been stung by them before so I was really worried about it, but once I was stung a few times it was something I realised I could tolerate. My arms and chest, and even my mouth were covered in stings.

“The second thing was the cold, I was just so cold, chilled to my core. It was such an awful feeling.”

Mr Soutter has raised around £5000 for the Community Rescue Service, a search, rescue and recovery charity. This will be used to buy a 4×4 vehicle.

In 2010, the businessman also swam across the English Channel, raising £3000 for Sparrow Schools Educational Trust in South Africa.

However, asked if he had plans for any further endurance swims, he replied: “I might consider taking on another challenge, but I’m not brave enough to tell my wife that yet.”


Mull of Kintyre to Ireland Swim – Good Luck Wayne and team

25 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has sent his best wishes to Wayne Soutter and his team as they put their final preparations together for this Sunday’s attempt to become the first person to swim from the Mull of Kintyre (Scotland) to Torr Head ,Ballycastle and has urged the local community to support their efforts – all monies raised will go to our local Community Rescue Service.

 Councillor  Cunningham commented “Wayne is an inspirational character, I have been in contact with him since last year, when his plans were very much still in their infancy. In October 2011 following a terrible tragedy in Ballycastle , I asked Wayne if he would consider raising some money from the swim for Community Rescue Service, he immediately agreed and I put him in touch with the local CRS boys.Wayne struck up a great friendship with the lads , and after taking part in one of their training events combined with  a weekend of Ballycastle’s hospitality and craic, Wayne decided that CRS would be the sole benefactor of his fundraising efforts. He enlisted  many of the CRS team and their expertise to be  to be part of his support team” 

The team will consist of:
Sean – Captain
Paul – Swim Manager
Carlos – Navigation
Joe – Navigation
Jon – life blood of the boat and the swim
Mark – Communications   
Gerard – Coordinator & planner in Ballycastle.
Gary – Observer

Portnagree House will be open from 10.00am on Sunday to act as an information centre to track Wayne’s progress and will give locals a chance to donate to this worthy cause.

After Wayne’s arrival at Torr Head he will be taken by boat to Ballycastle Harbour, please keep in touch with his progress and let’s have a large crowd there to welcome him ashore.