- 35-year-old Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel became the second female to break the men’s English Channel crossings record on Sunday.
- McCardel finished her 21-mile Channel crossing in 10 hours and 40 minutes.
Chloe McCardel is no stranger to marathon swimming - in 2014 she completed the world’s longest unassisted ocean swim, covering 77.3 miles in 41.5 hours in the waters around the Bahamas. In 2017, she became the first person to attempt a quadruple non-stop crossing of the English Channel, but wasn’t successful in completing the 84-mile challenge. Last year, Sarah Thomas became the first person ever to do so.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, McCardel became the second female to break the men’s record of 34 times set by Briton Kevin Murphy in 2000. The women’s record, set by Alison Steeter, is 43 times.
Despite the quarantine restrictions set by the UK and French government, McCardel has been given the all-clear by the UK and French coast guards, as she didn’t stay on shore for more than ten minutes and abided by social distancing rules.
Talking to BBC News, McCardel said, ‘I'm in great spirits. I would like to have a little celebration this evening in England. I'm extremely lucky to be surrounded by so much love and support, from my English host to my support boat captains and crew, and I'm excited to celebrate this achievement together with them.’
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph before the swim, McCardel, a domestic violence survivor who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, said she hopes her latest challenge can help raise awareness. ‘I've also been thinking a lot about the people in lockdown, particularly women facing domestic violence, and I'm proud to be able to be a voice for those who don't have one’, she told the BBC.
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