Endurance Swimmer Completes 35th Crossing of English Channel

An Australian endurance swimmer has completed her 35th crossing of the English Channel, putting her ahead of the men’s world record held by British swimmer Kevin Murphy.

Chloe McCardel took 10 hours and 40 minutes to complete the twenty-one-mile swim, leaving Abbot’s Cliff in Folkstone in the evening and arriving in Calais at 7am the following morning.

The completion of her latest challenge puts Chloe in second place for the most swims across the channel, trailing Brit, Alison Streeter who has made the journey an astonishing 43 times.

McCardel joked that she’d had a “tough day at the office” after her arrival on the French coast.

“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.”

Before taking to the water Chloe said that she hopes her latest swim can help to raise awareness of domestic violence.  She also revealed earlier in the week that she is a survivor of domestic abuse and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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.

“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,” added Chloe.

There had been initial concern that the challenge might fall foul of the latest quarantine rules between the UK and France, but Chloe was advised by the Channel Swimming Association that her swim could go ahead.

“We don’t go anywhere near the border officials or passport control, so I’m hoping technically the quarantine thing won’t apply,” she had said ahead of the swim.  “They said Channel swims are allowed as long as you observe social distancing when you land and don’t stay on the shore for more than 10 minutes, which is standard practice for us.”

Chloe spent only a few minutes on the Calais shores before returning to England aboard her support boat.