Published: 14:46, 17 September 2021
| Updated: 15:31, 17 September 2021
A marathon swimmer aims to cross the English Channel for the 44th time, to break a world record.
Australian Chloë McCardel aims to beat the current record of 43 currently held by Alison Streeter.
She will swim for the 42nd and 43rd time this month and will aim for the 44th in early October to replace Ms Streeter for the title of Queen of the English Channel.
The exact dates are yet to be confirmed and depend on the weather. Ms McCardel's schedule was already put back by August being one of the windiest on record.
Ms McCardel, 36, first swam the Channel in 2009 and last year completed her 37th swim, which surpassed the Men’s World Record of 34 English Channel crossings.
Ms Streeter, a retired endurance swimmer from Dover,crossed the Channel 43 times from 1982, when she was 18, to 2004.
She said: “Alison Streeter was my idol when I was moving to Channel swimming – she inspired me to continue to push my boundaries.
'I hope I can be a role model for women and girls.”
" Australia has such a rich history in English Channel swimming and I’m so proud to represent my country out in the Channel, a place which I see as my spiritual home.
"Although I’ve travelled alone for this challenge, I have such a great support network here in the UK who always get behind me and cheer me on!
“I really want to inspire young people, especially girls, showing them that anything is possible – I only learnt how to swim at the age of 11.
"I think sometimes women don’t get recognised for their achievements as much as they should. To have female role models has been amazing for me and I really hope I can be that for other women and girls.”
There are changing tides adding extra distance and waves, often reaching 2m in height, and the busy stream of cargo ships and ferries crossing daily.
There is the added threat of hypothermia, which Ms McCardel was herself hospitalised with in 2011. The swim is often decided at short notice due to these impacting factors.
Ms McCardel already she holds the world record for the longest unassisted ocean swim – which took place from South Eleuthera Island to Nassau in the Bahamas in 2014 and totalled 124km (77 miles).
She also undertook a non-stop triple crossing of the English Channel in 2015, which involved just under 37 hours of swimming. She was the first to do this in 21 years.
In addition Ms McCardel is a world record holder for the most English Channel crossings in a season - eight in 2016.
She has swum the Channel more often than any other Australian and was the fastest person to do so in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2019.
Ms McCardel also uses her voice and platform to shine a light on and advocate for women experiencing domestic violence. She was also named as one of Marie Claire Australia’s Women of The Year in 2020.
Ms McCardel has also coached 150 people to swim the English Channel since 2013 as relay and solo swimmers.