Ultra-marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has successfully become the first Australian to complete a non-stop English Channel triple crossing.
Swimming more than 115 kilometres, the 30-year-old swam for 36 hours 12 minutes, completing the final stroke at approximately 5.30pm local time on Sunday (0230 AEST, Monday) to also become just the fourth person in history to achieve the feat.
Last year she completed a record-breaking 124.4km-ocean swim across the Bahamas, after which she was admitted to hospital to deal with the effects of 15 jellyfish stings suffered during the 41.5-hour continuous swim.
But McCardel described this experience as even more difficult.
“This success has been a long time coming, and even after setting the world record in the Bahamas last year, the seas and cold water of the Channel made that final crossing to France the toughest I have experienced,” an exhausted McCardel said.
McCardel is the first person to complete a non-stop triple crossing of the English Channel in the past 25 years and will now spend the next few days recovering while also undertaking medical checks.
Joined by her husband and No.1 supporter Paul McQueeny, McCardel set-off from Dover on the English Channel coast and aimed for Cap Gris Ney on the coast of France, where Channel swimming rules only allowed her to break from swimming for 10 minutes.
Her first crossing was completed in 11 hours 34 seconds.
She returned to the water for the second leg, again stopping only briefly on the shores of the UK after swimming 11 hours and 8 seconds before making her final swim back to France, which was timed at 13 hours 30 minutes.
Chloe is expected to return to Australia as soon as she is cleared by the medics for travel.