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.
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.”
“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