Australian open water swimmer Trent Grimsey broke the record for the fastest ever crossing of the 34 km English Channel when he touched ground in France in a time of 6 hours 55 minutes flat.
Trent eclipsed Bulgarian Petar Stoychev’s record of 6 hr 57 min 50 secs by nearly 3 minutes.
“This achievement has long been a dream of mine and has capped off what can only be described as an absolutely stellar year for me and Australian open water swimming,” the 24-year-old Grimsey said in a statement released by his team.
“Stoychev set the bar incredibly high, being the only person ever to swim the Channel in under seven hours, but having beaten him recently to become No.1 on the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix Circuit, I knew he wasn’t invincible and that this record could be beaten.
“My preparation has been extreme, but it has truly been a team effort.
“I would not have been able to do this without the help of a great support crew, both here on the ground and back home.
“This includes an amazingly dedicated boat pilot Michael Oram, my coach Harley Connolly and everyone back at Lawnton Swim Club.”
The English Channel was first conquered by Captain Matthew Webb when he swam across the English Channel without the use of artificial aids.
On 25 August 1875 he swam from Dover to Calais in a time of 21 hours and 45 minutes, despite challenging tides (which delayed him for 5 hours) and a jellyfish sting.
Herman Van Der Westhuizen, a South African swimmer swam the Channel in 11 hours 25 minutes in August.
The average time taken to cross the Channel is 13 hours, 47 minutes, while the average age of a successful English Channel swimmer is 33 years of age.