2017 English Channel swim

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Lake Zurich Swim Results

 On September 2, 2023 I completed the 16.4 mile designated route of Lake Zurich from Rapperswil to the City of Zurich.   In a time of 13 hours and 10 minutes (ratification body Marathon Swimmer Federation).  At the age of 72 years and 212 days old.    I have completed six swims of  the Stillwater Eight Challenge.

It was a challenging swim due to many passenger ferries causing swirls of water.  At times I felt like I was swimming in an Endless Pool and not moving forward.    For any swimmer to be successful it takes teamwork.   My son Tom did an outstanding job as my crew.    Martyn Webster from Switzerland was the official observer….he was amazing!  I can’t thank him enough for his guidance and knowledge of Lake Zurich.   The two boat pilots Dani and Alain did a fantastic job in keeping me safe around all boats and ferries.    I want to thank my at-home crew my husband, daughter Sarah, and grandkids for always giving their love and support 

Contact info:  patgallant.charette@gmail.com

Friday, August 25, 2023

Lake Zurich, Switzerland

 On Saturday, September 2, 2023 I will attempt to swim the length of Lake Zurich in Switzerland between Rapperswil and Zurich.   A distance of 26.4km (16.4 miles) following the rules of the Marathon Swimmers Federation (ratification body).    My boat pilot will be Beat Lang of Zurich.   My swim observer is Martyn Webster, a record-breaking marathon swimmer from Zurich.   And, my son Tom will be my crew.   This swim is part of the Stillwater Eight Challenge.  This challenge consist of eight swims:  Lake Ontario (45 km) between Niagara region of New York and Toronto, Canada; Lake Tahoe (34.2 km) between Nevada and California; Loch Ness 36.2km in Scotland;  Lake Malawi in Africa (23.5 km),  Sea of Galilee (20.5km) in Israel; Lake Zurich (26.4km) in Switzerland; Lake Taupo (40km) in New Zealand; and Lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia.       

At the start of my swim a tracker will be activated.https://maps.findmespot.com/s/YX6W

Looking forward to another swim adventure especially after my recent hospitalization on July 4th for anaplasmosis (from infected Maine deer tick).   Thankfully, I responded well to the medication and have fully recovered.    On September 2, 2023 I will be 72 years and 212 days old.  

Friday, June 2, 2023

Lake Malawi Swim results

On Monday, May 22, 2023 I had a successful swim across Lake Malawi (24km) in Africa following the rules of the Marathon Swimmers Federation in a time of 13 hours and 5 minutes (ratification body by MSF)) at the age of 72 years and 109 days old.    Lake Malawi is part of the Stillwater Eight Challenge.  My swim started on the eastern shore of Lake Malawi to the western shore of Senga Bay, Malawi.   This swim was by far my favorite swim adventure in my twenty-five years of marathon swimming.    

This swim was organized by Howard James of Open Water Africa.   He arranged everything from transportation to and from the airport,  to boat pilot, observer (following Marathon Swimmers Federation rules) to recommended lodging.   The evening before my swim, we took a one-hour boat ride to the start of my swim.   A campsite was set-up by observer Walter Muggleton, boat pilots, and crew.   It was so much fun to have meals prepared by Walter cooked over an open campfire.  (He's a fabulous chef, too).  sunset was breathtaking......I was in awe of Malawi's beautiful sunsets.      As darkness approached, we slept in individual tents.   

 Swim started at daylight.   Please view my YouTube video on my Lake Malawi swim.

I would highly recommend this swim to any marathon swimmer looking for a unique adventure.  You won't be disappointed.  

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Bristol Channel Swim results

 On Monday September 19, 2022 I had a successful swim of Bristol Channel (16 miles) following the rules of the Bristol Channel Swimming Association and the Marathon Swimmers Federation in a time of 12 hours and 55 minutes at the age of 71 years and 228 days old.   Bristol Channel is known for having the second largest tidal flow in the world. It is located between Wales and England.   Tides can be very fast and turbulent causing a swimmer to swim much farther.   The Original Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming includes the English Channel (England to France),  the North Channel (Ireland to Scotland), and Bristol Channel (Wales to England).    This historic route chosen to complete the Original Triple Crown is the Porthcawl, Wales to Glenthorne, England also known as the Kevin Murphy and Ted Keenan route (both legends in the marathon swim world).   There are several other swim routes from Wales to England but the Porthcawl to Glenthorne was chosen as the iconic route to earn the Triple Crown.

 This swim entailed much planning and organization.....checking moon phase, tidal range, weather forecast, in addition to booking boat pilots, observer, and crew.     I met with boat pilot Ceri Davies from Swansea and he said that I needed to finish my swim in 13 hours or less due to expected strong tidal flow or my swim would be stopped.   Nothing like a little pressure to swim faster and pray for great conditions. There were two swimmers on that tide:  Martyn Webster from Switzerland and myself.   Martyn's boat pilot was Ceri Davies who navigated Martyn to a successful finish.   My pilots Aston, Eliot, and Dave had a smaller craft (rib) and they charted my course.    My independent observer was Tom Chapman from the Bristol Channel Swimming Association.  He did an incredible job closely monitoring my swim.   An observer must document many aspects of a swim for it to be ratified.....he needed to monitor/document my progress with photos/videos, take air and water temps,  wind speed, stroke count, and that I followed all the rules of marathon swimming.   I would highly recommend any swimmer who wants to attempt a swim across Bristol Channel to contact his association:  bridgesR4wimps@gmail.com

For a pilot,  I contacted the company Bristol Channel Swimming (Ceri Davies).   I chose this company due to their team of experts in boating and safety.   I would highly recommend them to any swimmer looking for a highly skilled pilot to help them safely cross Bristol channel.     Contact information: Http://www.bristolchannelswimming.co.uk

I had booked this swim several month ago.   With the untimely death of Queen Elizabeth II,  many mourned the loss of this great queen.   Her funeral coincided with my swim date of Monday, Sept 19.  Out of respect for her, all onboard honored the two-minute moment of silence at 11:58 am.   My crew Jean Murdoch-Gallant blew her whistle to let me know the start of this tribute.   In addition, prior to my swim Jean wrote "Queen Elizabeth II" on my right arm.     And, keeping with my tradition of having my brothers' names "Robbie and Johnny" on my left arm.

This swim was successful due to teamwork.   My crew (sister-in-law Jean) monitored every moment of my swim.  She did an outstanding job.    She gave nourishment of Maple syrup (tapped from my trees behind my home in Maine) mixed with Poland Spring Water.   My feed schedule was:  first feed at two hours and every hour thereafter.  Boat pilots carefully charted my course to meet the route requirements.  Tom (observer) made sure that all the rules were followed.    Many thanks to all of them.    I set a record for the Oldest to complete the Original Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming, the first American to complete it as well as the Oldest to swim Bristol Channel (Porthcawl to Glenthorne route).

Many thanks to my husband Jim, children Sarah and Tom, and grandchildren for their ongoing love and support.   Thank you to Tom Chapman for posting frequent updates to Facebook for my family to see my progress during my swim and for creating the video of my swim (posted under video section).   A special thank you to Fergal Somerville and his wife Mags of Dublin, Ireland for their support after my swim.  Also, thank you to Martyn Webster of Switzerland for his recommendation to swim the length of Lake Zurich (16 miles) in Switzerland next summer.  Lake Zurich has been on my lengthy bucket list of swims for the past few years and it's part of the Stillwater Eight Challenge.   (Above photo credit, Martyn Webster)

Also, I would like to thank the Westbrook Community Center's pool director John Smith for his dedication to the sport of swimming.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Sea of Galilee swim results


On April 25, 2022 I had a successful swim crossing of the length of the Sea of Galilee (AKA Lake Kinneret, Lake Kinnereth, and Lake Tiberias) in Israel in a time of 8 hours and 22 minutes setting a record for the oldest woman to swim the length.   The distance was approximately 13 miles.  The Sea of Galilee is recognized as the lowest fresh water lake in the world at 686 feet below sea level.  

    This swim was by far one of my favorite swims in my extensive swimming career due to it's rich Biblical history and scenic location.   In addition,  this swim is part of the Still Water Eight Challenge (includes Lake Ontario in Canada, Lake Tahoe in USA, Loch Ness in Scotland, Lake Taupo in New Zealand, Lake Malawi in Africa, Lake Titicaca in Peru, Lake Zurich in Switzerland, and Sea of Galilee in Israel).  I have completed four of the eight..... Lake Windermere was part of the original challenge and I completed that in 2018 but was later removed due to revision of Challenge.   

For any swimmer to be successful it takes teamwork.    I had an incredible team:   My son Tom did a fantastic job closely monitoring my swim.  He provided nourishment of maple syrup and water every hour, and added electrolytes when needed.  He was cheering me on the whole distance.     Observer Guy Cohen of the Galilee Marathon Swimming Association (governing body of this swim) galileemsa@gmail.com was outstanding in every aspect of this swim.  I will always cherish his joyful smile and pure delight when I reached the finish line.  It is very obvious that Guy is passionate about marathon swimming and wants every swimmer to reach their goal.  His Association is knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of marathon swimming.   My boat Pilot Stas Schhpek was incredible....he plotted my route from North to South and kept me within the charted course.  He's an outstanding pilot...one of the best pilots I have had in my swimming career.  He is associated with  Wakeboard and Wakesurf School www.wakeboard.co.il.   The owner Lior Eliyahu  wakeisrael@gmail.comarranged a slot for me last year and he was very helpful in making recommendations on where to stay.  

 We stayed at the Ein Gev Holiday Resort resort@eingev.org.il in Ein Gev on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee only a few miles from Lior's marina.  This resort has breathtaking views of the lake, a swim zone for training, huge breakfast buffet included in price of room, and staff that are friendly and courteous.  I would highly recommend using a rental car while in Israel.   Taxi service and Uber is a challenge in this area of Israel.  

I want to thank my home team: my husband Jim (taking care of our kitten Molly), my daughter Sarah and grandchildren for their love and support.  A special thank you to Kirsten Read (swim instructor) for her many helpful tips in improving my stroke.   And, thank you to Westbrook Pool Director John Smith for his positive energy in promoting swimming.  A huge thank you to Tom, Guy, Stas, and Lior for helping me to reach my dream of swimming the length of the Sea Galilee.    

Contact information:   patgallant.charette@gmail.com