Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
As the world turns, Kimberley Chambers kept swimming and swimming and swimming today. And the global open water swimming community gives her a big pat on the pack for her 3-year journey to achieve the Oceans Seven.
With fans on five continents looking on to her progress across the North Channel, the former ballerina who nearly lost her leg has risen to the top of the marathon swimming world with her completion of the Oceans Seven today.
Chambers became the first people from Oceania to achieve the Oceans Seven – and sixth person in history after Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Anna-Carin Nordin (Sweden), Michelle Macy (USA), Darren Miller (USA), and Adam Walker (UK) to do so.
Her Oceans Seven journey included the following crossings:
* September 2011: English Channel attempt aborted
* March 2012: Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand in 8 hours 26 minutes
* November 2012: Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai in Hawaii in 19 hours 27 minutes
* May 2013: Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco in 4 hours 39 minutes
* July 2013: Catalina Channel from Catalina Island to the California mainland in 11 hours 26 minutes
* September 2013: English Channel from England to France in 12 hours 12 minutes
* July 2014: Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in Japan in 9 hours 38 minutes
* September 2014: North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland in 13 hours 6 minutes
The fact that her first attempt in the English Channel was aborted is indicative of the intense drive and passion that Chambers has for the sport. Her own explanations of her motivations and obstacles are eloquently presented here.
Chambers described her crossing on her Facebook page, “This was my most difficult swim to date due to very regular yet unavoidable and very painful encounters with Lion’s Mane jellyfish that were relentless in their attack.
The completion of my swim was celebrated on the boat with a shower of Guinness beer and upon returning to my room I indulged in the first hot shower I have had in months along with a celebratory glass of Champagne. An incredible day, and one to be very thankful for.”
Matt Donoghue reported on Chambers’ post-swim condition: “Kim has moved into a respiratory ward here at Ulster hospital. She is in good spirits but she is still very swollen from the jellyfish stings and her lungs are of concern to the doctors as she still has trouble breathing. Kim has asked me to tell all of you how much she appreciates all of your supportive emails, calls, texts and posts and would have responded to each and every one of you if she wasn’t in the hospital. So kindly give her a few more days to get better.”
Another perspective from crew member Darren Miller is posted here.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association