East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club has been saddened by the news that Roy Harding died suddenly on 5 March 2009.
Ali Budynckievicz paid this tribute to Roy on behalf of the Club: “He was the biggest of men, in body and in spirit – with a gentle, caring and solid core.
“His friends will remember the very many good times together and his sense of “Brummie” fun and mischief. We will all remember his swimming achievements – the English Channel, Lake Zurich, Brownsea, and many others, which I will put together with Anne Richardson and Dave Doust, in a fitting tribute for him for the website.
“He was such a strong and dedicated swimmer, always able and willing to support everyone else – he had a great sense of fairness and a drive to succeed to the best of his ability.
“Who can forget the number of times he pulled Gerry out of the big waves and onto the beach; his training for his Channel swim; commuting to work in Sandbanks by swimming there and back from Bournemouth; his skipping – this big Brummie man; at the barn dance after the Cold Water Championships.
“He will be greatly missed and our lives will be less rich because he is not there.
“Our thoughts and love go to his wife Pam and his daughter Naomi. However much we feel saddened by his loss, their pain will be indescribable.”
Amongst his many achievements Roy was awarded the Channel Swimming Association’s C.S.A. Centenary Trophy for the ‘Fastest Swim by a British Person’ for 2005 (11hr 20m, piloted by Andy King) which raised £3500 for good causes.
He set the British 400m freestyle Cold Water record for the 50-59 age group in 2008 (5:51.70) (click to view list).