Chloë McCardel is about to attempt the unthinkable.
She has done one-way crossings of the English Channel. She has done two-way crossings of the English Channel. She has done a three-way crossing of the English Channel.
And now she will attempt a four-way crossing.
A successful non-stop four-way crossing (quadruple Channel crossing) would be unprecedented and would bring her career English Channel crossing total to 25.
If there is anyone who could do it in the contemporary swimming world, it is McCardel.
It is not just the distance – 136 km or 84.5 miles – that presents a substantial obstacle, but also the tidal changes, cold water, jellyfish, and probably at least two full night swims.
But her track record of success is unparalleled for an ultra-long distance swim. She swam 124.4 km in the Bahamas in 41 hours 21 minutes and completed 8 crossings of the English Channel last year.
The 32-year-old Australian announced her plans after a workout at the Kerferd Rd Pier in Albert Park, Melbourne. Her attempt of a non-stop quadruple crossing of the English Channel – expected to take two days and nights – will occur within weeks between August 29th and September 2nd.
“When I completed the triple, I was utterly exhausted – nauseous and hypothermic, with my swimming costume hanging off me because I’d burnt through so much body fat. Getting through all that, then turning around to swim another crossing will be absolute torture but I’m determined to do it.”
McCardel has been swimming 110-140 km in training a week, including extended swims in ocean water as cold as 8°C and 20-hour non-stop night swims in 15°C ocean water with 3°C air temperature. She has augmented her ocean workouts in water as cold as 8°C and 20-hour non-stop night swims in 15°C ocean water with 3°C air temperature with pool workouts. “I am in the best shape of my career, injury free and, I believe, physically and mentally prepared.
I’ve reached all my original goals. Now, it’s about pushing the boundaries of the sport and the boundaries of the human spirit. What can our body and mind achieve? Do we really know our potential? Maybe we can go further. I want to find out. If successful, this could dramatically alter the perception of what the human mind and body can achieve in such harsh, inhospitable conditions.”
Her attempt can be followed on her GPS Tracker which will be updated here every ten minutes throughout the crossing.
Her team has explained the scale of the attempt. “Over 700,000 people have completed Ironman triathlons. Approximately 200 people have sailed non-stop solo around the world. Roughly 4,500 individuals have scaled Mt. Everest and over 10,000 Olympic gold medals have been awarded. Twelve people have walked on the moon and four people have completed a triple English Channel crossing. No one has yet attempted or completed a quadruple non-stop English Channel crossing. It is the greatest endurance challenge on the planet.”
For more information about McCardel, visit her website here.
For McCardel’s insights into her training, preparation and logistics of her quadruple Channel attempt, visit here.
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