Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel, 35, is set to swim the English Channel on Sunday, August 16, for the 35th time. If successful, that would move her into second place on the overall record list for most crossings behind retired English swimmer Alison Streeter MBE, who successfully swam the channel 43 times.
McCardel is currently tied with British swimmer Kevin Murphy for 2nd place on the list with 34 crossings.
The crossing between England and France is approximately 21 miles, but the total distance swum varies according to the tides and how straight a swimmer’s path is. The fastest solo Channel swimmers to date are Trent Grimsey of Australia who swam it in 6 hours and 55 minutes in 2012 and Yvetta Hlavacova of the Czech Republic who swam it in 7 hours, 25 minutes, 15 seconds in 2006. McCardel is hoping to complete the swim in about 10 hours.
McCardel, who has swum the English Channel more than any other Australian, holds the world record for single Channel crossings, eight, in a season (2016). McCardel also became the fourth person and only Australian to complete a triple non-stop crossing of the Channel in 2015. In addition, she holds the world record for the longest unassisted ocean swim, which took place in the Bahamas in 2014, swimming 124.4 kilometers or 77.3 miles.
Of the upcoming race McCardel offered, “I am so honored to be setting off knowing that I am doing this for Australia. I’m hoping I can make everyone proud and inspire people back home.”
Matthew Webb was the first individual to solo swim the English Channel on August 24, 1875 in a time of 21 hours and 45 minutes. The first woman to solo swim the Channel was Gertrude Ederle on August 6, 1926 in 14 hours and 39 minutes. To date, a total of 1,881 swimmers have completed 2,428 solo swims.