It's a 21 mile swim from Dover to Calais, but for our next Slow Champion, that wasn't quite enough.
Jackie Cobell - Slowest (and longest) Channel Crossing.
On Saturday 24 July 2010 at 6.40am, Jackie launched herself into the channel from Shakespeare Beach in Kent. She'd been planning this for 5 years, had trained every day and was regularly swimming 20 miles a week. She had spent time in the pool, swam across lakes and trained in the sea. With all this work, she'd estimated that it would take her 20-21 hours to make the crossing.
The tide in the English Channel flows North East for 1.5 hours before High Tide and 4.5 hours after, then it switches 180 degrees and flows South West until 1.5 hours before High Tide and the cycle starts again. Then you have to take into account the gravitation pull on the water mass from the sun and the moon, which varies depending on the position of the moon and creates Spring and Neap tides. Confused? So was Jackie..
28 hours and 44 minutes after leaving Kent, Jackie finally landed on French soil, beating the 87 year record of Henry Sullivan for the slowest crossing by nearly 2 hours!
For battling tides with a pull of 4 nautical miles an hour (a good swimmer can swim 1.4nm an hour), not giving up through injury, exhaustion and raising a vast amount of money for research into Huntingdon's disease, she is a true champion, slow or otherwise.