'She's done it': World erupts over Aussie's English Channel record

·3-min read
Australia's Chloe McCardel is being hailed around the world after breaking the record for most English Channel swims in history. Pic: Getty
Australia's Chloe McCardel is being hailed around the world after breaking the record for most English Channel swims in history. Pic: Getty

Australian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has been crowned 'Queen of the English Channel' after an incredible record-breaking feat that is being hailed around the world.

The 36-year-old has now swum across the English Channel more times than any other person in history after completing a record-breaking 44th crossing of the 34km stretch of water between England and France.

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Wrapped in an Australian flag shortly after sealing the world record, McCardel said she was ecstatic to achieve a goal that had been more than a decade in the making.

"I've been waiting a long time to celebrate this swim," McCardel said after her record-breaking crossing.

"I am ecstatic, I have so much adrenaline and I am proud to finally be queen of the English Channel.

"It feels like my Channel journey is complete after 12 years and it feels great."

Having first crossed the channel in 2009, McCardel - who was born in Melbourne and now lives in Sydney - has now racked up an impressive 44 crossings.

Her 43rd swim, to equal the previous world record set in 2004 by British marathon swimming legend Alison Streeter, came last Thursday (7 October).

Last year, she completed her 37th swim to surpass the men's world record.

Chloe McCardel is the first person in history to swim across the English Channel 44 times. Pic: Getty
Chloe McCardel is the first person in history to swim across the English Channel 44 times. Pic: Getty

"Today, the conditions were very favourable and the sun even came out, which is rare for October in England," she said after her latest record-breaking effort.

"I was concerned my chest infection might affect my swim but I felt really good. Aside from some one-metre waves earlier, the last few hours were very flat so I got to just enjoy the swim and soak it all up.

"I have had immense support back in Australia. I want to thank everyone across the country who has supported me."

World hails 'extraordinary' Chloe McCardel record

It wasn't just in her homeland that McCardel was being praised for the amazing feat, with tributes to the swimmer rolling in from around the world.

McCardel, who is also a motivational speaker, will return to Australia in November, where she hopes to use her achievement to inspire others.

"For now, I get to share my story and soak it all in," she said.

"I only learnt how to swim at the age of 11 and now, at 36, I have broken the record and swum the English Channel more times than anyone in the world.

"I really want to inspire young people, especially girls, and show them that anything is possible."

with AAP

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