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Aussie Chloe McCardel breaks English Channel record with 44th swim

Kamahl Cogdon and AFP, October 14, 2021 7:00PM Kids News

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Australian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel celebrates her record-breaking 44th swim across the English Channel after reaching France about 10 hours after she left England. Picture: AFP media_cameraAustralian marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel celebrates her record-breaking 44th swim across the English Channel after reaching France about 10 hours after she left England. Picture: AFP


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Australian long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel is the queen of the English Channel after a record breaking 44th crossing.

McCardel, 36, completed her 44th swim of the channel between England and France on October 13, achieving what no other person has done.

Wrapped in an Australian flag, she said: “I’ve been waiting a long time to celebrate this swim.

“I am ecstatic*, I have so much adrenaline* and I am proud to finally be queen of the English Channel.

“It feels like my channel journey is complete after 12 years and it feels great.”

media_cameraChloe McCardel holds up a giant 44 to celebrates her record breaking swim across the English Channel. Picture: AFP

McCardel set off from the English coast in the early hours and took about 10 hours to swim almost 34km to Pointe de la Courte Dune near Calais in France.

The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and as well as having to deal with passing cargo ships and ferries, changing tides and waves can add extra distances for swimmers.

McCardel, who grew up in Melbourne but lives in Sydney, went ahead with her record-breaking swim despite writing on Facebook two days earlier that she was “battling a chest infection”.

Despite that, she said after the gruelling* challenge that she felt “really good”.

“Today, the conditions were very favourable and the sun even came out, which is rare for October in England,” she said.

“I was concerned my chest infection might affect my swim but I felt really good. Aside from some 1m waves earlier, the last few hours were very flat so I got to just enjoy the swim and soak it all up.

media_cameraChloe McCardel is pictured during her 10-hour swim across the English Channel for a world record 44th time. Picture: AFP

“I have had immense* support back in Australia. I want to thank everyone across the country who has supported me.

“I hope to be an inspiration to anyone who wants to set big goals or is working hard to achieve things.”

McCardel first swam across the English Channel in 2009. She passed the men’s record for the most channel crossings, held by British swimmer Kevin Murphy, with her 35th swim in August last year.

And just a week ago she equalled the overall record of 43 channel crossings, which had been held by British swimmer Alison Streeter since 2004.

Aussie swimmer Chloe McCardel beats men’s record for English Channel swims

McCardel has made four of her 44 channel swims in record time (for male and female), in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2019.

Another swimming career highlight was making the longest Marathon Swimmers Federation-approved unassisted solo ocean swim in history, covering 124km in the Bahamas, in 2016.


  • ecstatic: extremely happy, joyful
  • adrenaline: a substance the body makes when you are angry, scared or excited
  • gruelling: extremely tiring and demanding
  • immense: great


Female Aussie swimmer tops men’s world record

Aussie’s marathon swim effort


  1. What two countries does the English Channel separate?
  2. How long did it take Chloe to swim the channel?
  3. What health problem was Chloe suffering ahead of her swim?
  4. What year did Chloe make her first swim across the English Channel?
  5. Who holds the men’s record for English Channel crossings?


1. Be Inspired!
What makes Chloe a great role model for kids like you? Design a card or poster that shows all of the things that you can learn from, and be inspired by, Chloe’s achievement.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability

2. Extension
Imagine that you are a reporter for Kids News. You are going to interview Chloe. The purpose of your interview is to help the readers of Kids News to understand exactly what it would be like to swim 124kms, like Chloe did in 2016. Write five questions for your interview. Then write the answers that you think that Chloe would give.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical Education, Critical and Creative Thinking

Imaginative Dialogue
Imagine you were there during when Chloe McCardel completed her record 44th swim across the English Channel.

Create a conversation between you and Chloe McCardel. Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.

Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.

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