For the third time, Block successfully completed a crossing from Northern Ireland to Scotland. She initially crossed in 14 hours 31 minutes in August 2016. Then again in 15 hours 32 minutes in August 2017. Yesterday, she completed her first leg of her two-way attempt in 16 hours 45 minutes*, escorted by Pádraig Mallon of Infinity Channel Swimming and Piloting Services.
Last year, she continued to swim until the 28 hour 55 minute mark; this year, she continued for 26 hours 11 minutes traversing the channel and being pushed by tidal flows for 61.2 km.
It was her second attempt in the North Channel that has drawn raves and generated a vast amount of respect from channel swimmers worldwide.
Jacqueline Mcclelland of Infinity Channel Swimming and Piloting Services gave a quick update on Facebook, “Unfortunately, Dr. Caroline Block’s two-way North Channel dream swim came to an end after 26 hours 11 minutes and over 75 km where she swam halfway home on the return leg of the two-way swim. After hours of battling thousands of jellyfish during the dark and the sudden onset of hypothermia due to the ambient and water temperatures plummeting at night.
The brave decision to retire was made. The guts and determination that this lady showed during this mammoth challenge was second to none.
Caroline is [now] recovering and resting safely on land.
Caroline made a successful first crossing of the North Channel in a time of 16 hours 45 minutes (to be officially confirmed). Caroline has now equaled a long standing record set by Alison Streeter and Kevin Murphy with three crossings each, putting Caroline in the honor roll with two of the world’s greatest open water swimmers of all time.
Please hold your head very high, Caroline, for the superhuman achievement you have accomplished. Dr. Caroline Block has truly earned the respect and admiration from the open water swimming community.”
Her crew included first pilot Charles Stewart, second pilot Pádraig Mallon, crew members Jacqueline McClelland and Myles Mccourt, and Irish Long Distance Swimming Association observers Ian Conroy and Olivia Jennings.
The course she took on her 88 km attempt of 2017 is below for comparison purposes:
* unofficial at time of publication; time to be confirmed.
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