Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Exhausted, shivering and somewhat disoriented under medical care is how Chloë McCardel ended her 36 hour 12 minute three-way English Channel crossing today.

But like her earlier swim in the Bahamas where she spent 6 days in a local hospital to recover, McCardel was triumphant in her pain.

She became only the fourth person* in history to swim three consecutive crossings of the English Channel. Although an English Channel crossing is only 34 km along the straight-line distance, McCardel reportedly swam over 115 km to complete the three-way crossings due to tidal forces.

The 30-year-old Australian, escorted by Reg Brickell, Jr. and Ray Brickell, has now completed 13 crossings in total, including 2 previous two-way crossings.

After her triple crossing today, McCardel said, “This success has been a long time coming, and even after setting the world record in the Bahamas last year, the seas and cold water of the Channel made that final crossing to France the toughest I have experienced.”

She will spend the next few days recovering locally while undertaking medical checks. She will return to Australia as soon as she is cleared by the medical staff for travel.

Her first crossing from England to France was completed in 11 hours 34 minutes; her second crossing from France to England was 11 hours 8 minutes; her final crossing back to France was 13 hours 30 minutes as thousands of supporters and fans from around the world followed her progress online via GPS tracking.

* American Jon Erikson (38 hours 27 minutes in 1981), New Zealand’s Philip Rush (28 hours 21 minutes in 1988), and Britain’s Alison Streeter (34 hours 40 minutes in 1990).

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