Endurance swimmer completes record-breaking Channel crossing

Endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel has completed a record-breaking crossing of the English Channel, landing in Calais, France, just before 7am today.

The 35-year-old Australian took 10 hours and 40 minutes to make her 35th Channel crossing after leaving Abbot’s Cliff beach near Folkestone on Saturday evening.

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 to the PA news agency shortly after arriving in France, Ms McCardel, who holds multiple world records for endurance swimming, joked it was a “tough day at the office”.

“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.”

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, adding she was hoping to celebrate once she was back on British soil.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Ms McCardel now sits second on the all-time list of most Channel crossings (Jason Kelvin/PA)</figcaption>
Ms McCardel now sits second on the all-time list of most Channel crossings (Jason Kelvin/PA)

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.