Barrie Devenport
Inducted in 1995
The challenge, to be the first in recorded history, to swim Cook Strait was likened to other sporting challenges such as Roger Bannister’s first sub-four minute mile and Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest.
Sporting Category:
  • Swimming
Wellington surf lifesaver Barrie Devenport was the first to overcome the challenge on November 20, 1962, when he swam from Cape Terawhiti in the North Island to Wellington Rock in the South in 11 hours and 13 minutes.

The swim gained national attention and instant fame for Devenport: among his rewards were a television set and a truckload of manure.

The strait has since been swum many times, and there have been double and triple crossings, but none match the sense of achievement and national excitement of Devenport’s pioneering swim.
 

Sporting Spotlight

Kevin Skinner

(1927 - )

Skinner was one of the great All Black props of the 40s and early 50s but his fame almost entirely centres on his coming out of retirement in 1956 to bolster the New Zealand pack against South Africa in one of the most tumultuous series New Zealand has seen.
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