Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
While the shores of Dover are crowded with channel aspirants from around the world and the fields of Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen fill up quickly, it is not often that the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland are packing it in with swimmers.
But today was a different day.
With definitely an American flavor to it.
Pat Gallant-Charette and Darren Miller started about 90 minutes apart.
While Miller completed his crossing to achieve the Oceans Seven, Gallant-Charette is still swimming as the sun starts to set in the North Channel. According to Nuala Moore, “Pat is doing OK; her stroke rate is constant and she is plugging away in good spirits. Like Miller, she is enjoying great water conditions as she has been swept a bit south from the optimal line. She has been in the water over 13 hours and has only 7 miles to go although the tides will change soon.”
Sheena Patterson is the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association observer on Gallant-Charette’s escort boat. “Pat’s stroke per minute rate is solid. The water touched in at 15ºC (59ºF). The air temperature is dropping but she has another 3 hours light and her brother is on the boat as well.”
But what is unusual is Miller passed Gallant-Charette in the middle of the channel. Photos of the rare two-swimmers-in-the-channel-at-the-same-time were taken by escort pilot Brian Maherg‘s boat. Moore explains, “It is the first time in 50 years that 2 swimmers have ever been in the same time per Brian’s memory. There may have been others, but there is nothing previous recorded.”
Maherg commented about his photo above that shows Miller in the forefront under the guidance of Bangor Boats with Gallant-Charette in the distance under the guidance of pilot Quinten Nelson,
“The last time I think two swimmers were in North Channel together was late 1950’s. There has been nothing since then, so this is quite historic for the channel.”
Editor’s Note: Pat Gallant-Charette reportedly fought for 16 hours 34 minutes throughout today before the unforgiveable tides turned on her with the last mile unattainable. Details will be confirmed shortly.
Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association