Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel has broken the men’s world record for the highest number of swims across the English Channel.
The 35-year-old completed her 35th English Channel journey on Sunday, swimming between Dover in south-east England and France. The swim took her 10 hours and 40 minutes and marked her fourth crossing of the Channel in 16 days.
Before her Channel crossing on Sunday, McCardel’s number of crossings was equal to Kevin Murphy, who holds the men’s record, set in 2006. McCardel now sits second on the list of the most English Channel swims, behind England’s Alison Streeter, who holds the current record at 43 swims.
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Wow. I can’t believe the whirlwind which has been the last 9 days 🌬💨 . My ✅ goal was to swim 4x 🇬🇧English Channel 🇫🇷 solo crossings within a month to surpass the Mens WR for Greatest Channel Crossings and I have already swum 3x of them in the last 9 days. . ▶️ July 30th 9:44 🔄 Aug 4th 10:24 🔄 Aug 7th 9:45 . When it comes to the Channel looks can be deceiving and I think my 2nd swim, which was the slowest, was actually my most impressive. . I’d like to share more about these swims with you but for now I really must get some sleep 💤💤💤 . Thanks for all your well wishes and support. It means so much to me ❤🙏🥰 Good night 🌌
“I’m in great spirits,” McCardel said after the record-breaking swim. “It’s such a joyous thing to be able to surpass the record and move to second spot on the list of most Channel crossings. It’s a very momentous occasion and I’m very proud to be able to represent Australia.”
“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.”
Prior to her swim on Sunday, McCardel revealed she is a survivor of domestic abuse, and has also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Part of the reason she wanted to break the record was to raise awareness for those suffering from domestic abuse in lockdown.
“Many might think that what I do needs superhuman strength but at one point in my life I was very vulnerable and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” she said.
“Endurance training has helped me through those challenging periods in my life. I hope my efforts will inspire others – whoever they are and whatever their circumstances – to stay strong and resilient in these difficult times.”
The Australian endurance swimmer already holds multiple world records, including the longest ever unassisted swim in the Bahamas (124.4 kilometres) in 2014.
She has crossed the English Channel more that any other Australian, outdoing swimming legend Des Renford’s record of 19 crossings in 2016.
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