A Belgian doctor has become the first woman in 30 years to successfully swim the channel between England and France.
Haïke De Vlieger (50) from Ostend managed the 51 km journey from Dover to the French coast in 14 hours and 51 minutes. According to her coach, Tracy Clark, who swam with her for part of the journey, the seawater temperature was 17.4 degrees Celsius.
"It was without a wetsuit, only with a swimming costume, bathing cap and swimming goggles," the swimmer told local media. "The main focus was on the cold. In preparation, I gained a few kilos so I would be a little less cold in the water."
After a few minutes in France at 10:00 PM on Tuesday night, De Vlieger was back on a ship to England.
De Vlieger - a child and adolescent psychiatrist - used the swim to raise money for the therapy farm where she has worked as a volunteer for six years. According to the current total, she raised €390 so far
Next week, Bram De Langhe from Waregem will also try to swim across the channel.
The Brussels Times