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No rest for Chantelle...

Sport | Published:

CHANNEL swimmer Chantelle Le Guilcher has already returned to water following her landmark solo swim last week, but has stopped short of making early plans for her next challenge.

Chantelle Le Guilcher, after completing her first solo Channel crossing from Dover to France

The Grainville School keyworker crossed from Dover to France in 14 hours 03 minutes last Wednesday [1 August] to add her name to an illustrious list of swimmers, joining Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club colleague Alice Harvey, who made the same journey just ten days earlier.

Le Guilcher is already back swimming as she makes the most of the favourable weather, although she is due to swap front crawl for kayak strokes next week as she guides a junior relay squad around the coast of Jersey.

‘I was pretty stiff the day after, but I’m feeling good now,’ the 24-year-old explained. ‘It’s nice to be back in water without having to train ... I’m just back in enjoying it.

‘It has still not really sunk in to be honest. There was such a big build up to it – I was training for it for over a year and then in one day it’s done.

‘This was always the one I desperately wanted to do, so now it’s done I can search for a different one.

‘I’ll let this one sink in a bit first, then I’m sure there will be more on the cards.

‘I’ve got a junior relay team going round the Island next week hopefully, so I’m focusing on them at the moment. I’m supposed to be kayaking around the whole way next to them, which is a task in itself.’

Le Guilcher, who was backed by Canaccord and MailMate ahead of the crossing, received support on the day from pilot Eddie Spelling and a crew including her father Michael Le Guilcher, Daniel Lagadu, Adrian Follain and Chantelle Rose.

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High winds had delayed her attempt but on the Wednesday the winds reduced enough to set off, starting from Samphire Hoe just before 1 am. Conditions were rough to begin with and along with the darkness and the jelly fish it made for an interesting start.

After four hours or so the conditions improved and she made good progress to be on course for an 11-and-a-half hour finish, only for the tide to turn as she neared the end. This added over two hours to the swim as the tide pushed her back across and into Wissant Bay until , finally, she set foot in France.

Said JLDSC vice-president Adrian Follain: ‘Chantelle had a tough swim in places but stuck to it and showed real character, especially at the end when she really had to dig deep’.

Jason Fox

By Jason Fox
author

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