The Fourth Lap
On 29 August 2017, Chloë attempted what is widely considered the greatest endurance challenge – the 136km quadruple non-stop crossing of the English Channel. This had never been attempted previously, let alone completed.
While unsuccessful on her first attempt, Chloë is extremely proud to have completed her third double crossing of the English Channel. Chloë does not see this attempt as a ‘failure’ but rather a step closer to achieving this incredible feat. It has provided her with an opportunity to learn more and find ways to improve. Chloë still believes a quadruple crossing of the English Channel is possible and is inspired to dramatically alter the perception of what the human mind and body can achieve in such harsh, inhospitable conditions.
Chloë, who is at the pinnacle of her career, is arguably the greatest ultra-marathon swimmer in history. In 2014, Chloë set the World Record for the longest unassisted ocean swim of 124.4km in 41.5 hours and in 2015, was the first Australian to complete a triple non-stop crossing of the English Channel. Only three other ultra-marathon swimmers have completed a triple non-stop crossing of the English Channel, which were completed over 27 years ago.
In 2016, Chloë crossed the English Channel eight times, breaking the World Record for crossings in one season. This also gave her the Australian Record of 21 crossings of the English Channel, breaking Des Renford’s long-standing Australian record of 19 crossings.
In preparation for this epic feat, Chloë trained in water temperatures as low as 11°C for up to six hours; completed overnight training swims of up to 20 hours in 15°C, with 3°C air temperature; and distances of 110-140km in a week. This is the largest training block completed by Chloë, which also included pool training equivalent to a male 1,500m Olympic-level swimmer during their peak training period.
Chloë said, “I’ve reached all my original goals. I’ve pushed myself as much as I thought I could have. Now, it’s about pushing the boundaries of marathon swimming.”
“It’s about pushing the human spirit. What can our body and mind achieve? Do we really know our potential? Maybe we can go further.”
“I hope to keep pushing the sport and the human spirit forward.”
Over 700,000 people have completed Ironman triathlons. It is estimated that approximately 200 people have sailed non-stop solo around the world. Approximately 4,500 individuals have scaled Mt. Everest and over 10,000 Olympic gold medals have been awarded. Twelve people have walked on the moon and four people have completed a triple English Channel crossing. No one has yet attempted or completed a quadruple non-stop English Channel crossing.