Australian marathon swimmer Chloë McCardel has officially become the queen of the English Channel, after successfully completing her 44th swim across the body of water between England and France.
On Wednesday, McCardel broke the world record for the most swim across the English Channel, breaking Alison Streeter’s previous record of 43 crossings. Last year, McCardel surpassed the men’s world record of 34 crossings.
“I am ecstatic, I have so much adrenaline and I am proud to finally be Queen of the English Channel. It feels like my Channel journey is complete after 12 years and it feels great,” Chloë said after her swim.
“Today, the conditions were very favourable and the sun even came out, which is rare for October in England. I was concerned my chest infection might affect my swim but I felt really good.
“Aside from some one metre waves earlier, the last few hours were very flat so I got to just enjoy the swim and soak it all up.
“I have had immense support back in Australia. I want to thank everyone across the country who has supported me. I hope to be an inspiration to anyone who wants to set big goals or is working hard to achieve things.”
McCardel completed the record-breaking swim in just over 10 hours, setting off in Dover, in the UK at 2pm AEDT (4am BST) on Wednesday, finishing at Cape Gris Nez in France, just after midnight AEDT (2pm BST). She first swam across the English channel in 2009, and over a 12 year period has tallied up an impressive 44 crossings.
The marathon swimmer already holds multiple world records, including the longest ever unassisted swim in the Bahamas (124.4 kilometres) in 2014.
McCardel has been open about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, and has said that she lives with post traumatic stress disorder. Out of the water, she is an advocate for other survivors.
“You can live through domestic violence and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel,” she told Broad Radio last month.
McCardel is scheduled to return to Australia in November, and hopes to use her achievement to inspire others in her work as a motivational speaker.