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Endurance swimmer, 35, sets off on record-breaking swimming attempt across the Channel

UK News

Endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel has completed her record-breaking 35th English Channel crossing, landing in Calais, France, just before 7am on Sunday. 

The 35-year-old Australian has broken the men’s record for the number of crossings completed – which stood at 34 and was held by British athlete Kevin Murphy.

The crossing took 10 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Abbot’s Cliff beach near Folkestone on Saturday evening.

Although there was some concern as to whether Ms McCardel and her team would need to quarantine on their return to the UK, she said she had been given the all-clear by English and French coastguards.

Endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel sets off from Abbotts Cliff beach near Folkestone as she embarks on a record-breaking swimming attempt across the English Channel

Endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel sets off from Abbotts Cliff beach near Folkestone as she embarks on a record-breaking swimming attempt across the English Channel 

The 35-year-old Australian has broken the men's record for the number of crossings completed - which stood at 34 and was held by British athlete Kevin Murphy (pictured setting off)

The 35-year-old Australian has broken the men’s record for the number of crossings completed – which stood at 34 and was held by British athlete Kevin Murphy (pictured setting off) 

She plans to have a ‘little celebration’ with her crew to commemorate the achievement – after saying she would spend a mere minutes on French soil.

The Government announced on Thursday that people arriving in the UK from France after 4am on Saturday need to spend 14 days in self-isolation due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases across the Channel. 

The 21-mile trip means Ms McCardel moves to second on the list of the most Channel swims, passing the men’s record of 34 held by British athlete Kevin Murphy.

She now only trails another Briton, Alison Streeter, who has completed the challenge 43 times.

Speaking shortly after arriving in France, Ms McCardel, who holds multiple world records for endurance swimming, joked it was a ‘tough day at the office’.

‘I’m in great spirits,’ she said.

‘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.’ 

The crossing took 10 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Abbot's Cliff beach near Folkestone on Saturday evening (pictured setting off)

The crossing took 10 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Abbot’s Cliff beach near Folkestone on Saturday evening (pictured setting off)

She said: ‘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.’

Ms McCardel added that, after completing four swims in 16 days to break the record, she was looking forward to finally getting some well-earned rest.

‘I’ve got a lot more muscular soreness than I anticipated, I don’t think I want to swim the Channel again for a while,’ she laughed. 

Although there was some concern as to whether Ms McCardel and her team would need to quarantine on their return to the UK, she said she had been given the all-clear by English and French coastguards. Pictured: Her support vessel

Although there was some concern as to whether Ms McCardel and her team would need to quarantine on their return to the UK, she said she had been given the all-clear by English and French coastguards. Pictured: Her support vessel

Ms McCardel had originally planned to set off at 10am on Sunday but rescheduled due to potentially poor weather conditions. 

The Australian holds multiple world records, including the longest ever unassisted ocean swim – 41.5 hours in the Bahamas, covering more than 77 miles. 

Ms McCardel was given special dispensation from Australian authorities to travel to the UK to complete three Channel crossings in recent weeks, taking her level with Mr Murphy’s record.

She holds multiple world records for endurance swimming including the longest ever unassisted ocean swim in the Bahamas in 2014.

DailyMail Online


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