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Record-breaking English Channel swim for Australian grandfather

Credit: Twitter profile @BaldockCyril

70-year-old Cyril Baldock has become the oldest person to swim across the English Channel between England and France. Baldock arrived at Cap Gris-Nez on Wednesday after taking 12 hours and 45 minutes to cover the distance.


Cyril Baldock, aged 70 years and nine months is from Sydney, Australia. On Wednesday he became the oldest person to swim across the English Channel when he beat the record of Roger Allsopp from Britain, who was five months younger when he made the crossing in 2011.

But Baldock’s record may not last long, as another Australian, grandmother Irene Keel, aged 73, will attempt the crossing later this week.

Although the English Channel is 34 kilometres across in a straight line from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez, few swimmers manage the swim in less than 40 kilometres.

Baldock said that after 10 hours in the water his arms were very sore and he was worried that he would not be able to go the whole distance.

He was wearing only a cap, goggles and trunks for the swim, in accordance with the Channel swimming rules, and to be recognised as a Guinness World Record.

Baldock trained 40 hours a week for this feat. His training included five pool sessions and a long open-water swim on weekends.

He wanted to attempt the record-breaking swim in honour of his coach and mentor Des Renford who also wanted to do the swim, but after a heart attack had to give up on his dream.

Baldock was the fifth Australian to complete the crossing when he did it the first time in 1985. It then took him 10 hours and 44 minutes.

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