Katie Blair Talks About Her St. Lucia Channel Two-Way Attempt On WOWSA Live

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On October 13th, 41-year-old Katie Blair attempted a 66.2 km two-way crossing attempt of the St. Lucia Channel between Saint Lucia and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea. She talked about her attempt on today’s WOWSA Live where she made the first crossing to Martinique in 12 hours 30 minutes, but was stopped short on her way back to Saint Lucia after being in the water 29 hours 10 minutes.

During the interview, she mentioned Cameron Bellamy, organizer Sue Dyson, 12-year-old Christophe Maleau, and her new book Lessons from the Water: a Swimmer’s Journey through the Tides of Life.

Blair’s 29 hour 10 minute course, courtesy of Track.rs

While Blair did not realize this summer’s channel swim goal, she did announce next year’s goal: an attempt to circumnavigate 120.7 km around St. Lucia in July 2021. “Inspired by the adventures of some of the superstars in our sport like Sarah Thomas and Cameron Bellamy and wanting to explore my limits, I contacted Sue one year ago about this swim. It was too far from what I’d done before so we decided to see if I can swim a 40-miler first.

While I got lost out west in currents, I know now I can go the distance. So, we are moving forward and actively looking for sponsors and supporters for this swim. A small way to support this could be getting yourself a copy of Lessons from the Water, all proceeds are going right back out into the ocean.

I am also hoping to bring some swim lessons to the island as 80% of the local population cannot swim while surrounded by and working on the water.”

Katie Blair with son Ashton Raymond

She also explained that her 15-year-old son and feeder Ashton Raymond will be back on her boat next year.

Upon reflection of her attempt, she acknowledged a variety of lessons that she learned – and the heartfelt support of her crew. “I am allergic to hydroids (small animals related to jellyfish) stings and also need to find a way to protect my mouth better from the salt water. My crew will have a much stricter rest/work schedule to avoid all of them crashing at the same time. Captains Will Wilson, Jammain Stanley, and Cornel Clairmont, support swimmers and feeders Vanessa Eugene, Shernice Popo, and Eget Martyre, observer Liz Anne Deabeuville, photographer John McLennon, chief organizer Sue Dyson, and support crew Shaquil Flavius were all troopers.”

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