Australian marathon runner Chloë McCardel has officially become queen of the English Channel, after completing her 44and swim across the body of water between England and France.
On Wednesday, McCardel broke the world record for the most Channel crossings, beating Alison Streeter’s previous record of 43 crossings. Last year, McCardel broke the men’s world record of 34 crossings.
“I’m over the moon, I’ve got so much adrenaline and I’m proud to finally be Queen of the Channel. I feel like my journey in the Channel is over after 12 years and it feels good”, Chloë said after her swim.
“Today the conditions were very favorable and the sun even came out, which is rare for an October in England. I was worried that my chest infection would affect my swimming, but I felt really good.
“Apart from a few meter waves earlier, the last few hours were very flat so I was able to enjoy the swim and soak it all up.
“I have had tremendous support in Australia. I want to thank everyone across the country who has supported me. I hope to be an inspiration to anyone who wants to set big goals or is working hard to get things done.
McCardel completed the record swim in just over 10 hours, setting off from Dover, UK at 2:00 p.m. AEDT (4:00 a.m. BST) on Wednesday, finishing at Cap Gris Nez in France, just after midnight AEDT (2:00 p.m. BST). She first swam across the Channel in 2009 and, over a 12-year period, racked up an impressive 44 crossings.
The marathoner already holds several world records, including that of the longest unassisted swim ever in the Bahamas (124.4 kilometers) in 2014.
McCardel has been open about her experiences as a survivor of domestic violence and said she lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Out of the water, she defends the other survivors.
“You can experience domestic violence and there will be light at the end of the tunnel,” she told Broad Radio last month.
McCardel is due to return to Australia in November and hopes to use her achievement to inspire others in her work as a motivational speaker.