Woman breaks record for slowest Channel swim

cobellA 56-year-old woman who used to weigh 20 stone before she had a gastric bypass in November has become the slowest person ever to swim the Channel.

Jackie Cobell from Tonbridge, Kent, took 28 hours and 44 minutes to get from Dover to Calais on Sunday after swimming 64 miles instead of the 21-mile direct route.

Mrs Cobell’s circuitous trip to Calais was due to being pushed wildly off course by the strong tides.

She ‘beat’ the previous record, set by Henry Sullivan in 1923, by one hour and 56 minutes, reports the Daily Telegraph.

“I kept seeing the beach and thinking I was nearly there, then the tide would sweep me along the coast,” she said.

“It has been very different swimming since I lost eight stone. I never used to get cold and I’m not as buoyant now, but I am a lot fitter and I don’t have to worry about having high blood pressure.”

Her husband David, who followed in a boat, said: “There were times when she seemed to be moving away from the beach rather than towards it and her stroke was getting weaker and weaker, but I wasn’t ready for the amount of energy and persistence she had in doing the job.”

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