David Frantzeskou - Varne Ridge, UK. RIP
Some of you knew David Frantzeshou, IMSHOF, of Varne Ridge who passed away last month. David's funeral was yesterday and due the Europe-wide winter storm, many of us who had planned to be there were not able to make it.
David is greatly missed by so many of us.
@Tracy_Clark was particularly close to David & Evelyn in the last year, and she shared some words that she collected from many swimmers who knew and loved David.
David isn't just David or Dave to the Channel swimmers around the world. He has touched the hearts of 100s of us so he has earned the title of Dad...our swim Dad.
We arrive at Varne Ridge a bundle of well hidden nerves. A quiet chat on one of the many park benches, each of which has its own sad and special story. A drink at happy hour in the conservatory for the few not abstaining from alcohol. Whichever way...our swim dad has made it into all of our hearts. Especially the massive Dad bear hug we receive upon making our swim to France and the country flag he has flying to make us feel like an Olympic athlete.
I asked around for words to describe our swim dad Extremely Generous Caring Creative A good listener Intelligent Wise Gentleman Lots of charisma (for all the ladies) Campari his favourite tipple Guinness which we shared many Lawnmower came up a lot Bear hugs Salted caramel ice cream especially in the latter months. Laughter The best humour Dapper Mr Grumpy meant in the most loving way Long lunches and Capel Rock concert Bloody mad Channel swimmers Sod off Bugger off and other words I won't mention Devastatingly handsome Witty Passionate Driven Pride. Proud of all of us and incredible love and support.
Very few of us only visited Varne Ridge once...Instead we became the naughty children from Ireland, England, New Zealand, South Africa, every corner of the globe.
One boat pilot said David had got more swimmers across the English Channel than all the pilots put together.
...and lastly....Evelyn... our swim mum. He loved you beyond words and the love and care you have given to our dad especially over the last years, months and those last days is true love. In his last days I promised him we would all take care of Evelyn...he opened his eyes and said ...promise...I said promise and we all will. We are all here for you mum.
We miss you so much already dad x"_
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