Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel has crossed the English Channel for the 35th time — surpassing the men’s record for the most crossings from England to northern France.
The 35-year-old left Dover about 5:00am (AEST) before reaching France in 10 hours and 40 minutes.
Prior to the 35-kilometre swim, McCardel’s tally for Channel crossings was equal to British swimmer Kevin Murphy’s men’s record, which was set in 2006.
Her successful attempt means only one swimmer has crossed the channel more times than she has.
McCardel, who has crossed the channel four times in the past few weeks, is still eight swims short of equalling Alison Streeter’s women’s record of 43 crossings.
The Melbourne-raised Sydneysider already holds multiple world records, including the longest unassisted ocean swim in the Bahamas.
She swam 124.4km to set that record in 2014.
Prior to her latest attempt, McCardel said she was aiming to shine a light on the victims of domestic violence.
“I am so honoured to be setting off knowing that I am doing this for Australia,” she said.
“I’m hoping I can make everyone proud and inspire people back home.
“I’m also sending my thoughts out to everyone impacted by the COVID pandemic, especially those who have been or are currently cooped up in their homes, sometimes in extremely challenging environments, especially those who are experiencing domestic violence.
“Many might think that what I do needs superhuman strength but at one point in my life I was very vulnerable and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
McCardel was granted an exemption to leave Australia under COVID-19 restrictions, as her feat was deemed to be in the national interest.
French coronavirus restrictions mean she cannot interact with anybody on the shore before getting into a support boat for the return journey.
The Channel Swimming Association believes she will need to go into 14 days of quarantine when she returns to England, despite newly introduced regulations.