Cheered on by her support crew, Chloë McCardel completes her remarkable World Record for the Longest Ocean Swim in the Bahamas – 124.4km in 41.5 hours.
On the Third Anniversary of the World Record, Chloë reflects on the incredible support crew, the mental and physical pain and conditions faced throughout the Bahamas swim.
Three years ago today, I set the World Record for the Longest Ocean Swim in history – 124.4km in 41.5hrs. This record still stands.
The swim was completed under traditional marathon swimming rules – no wetsuit, fins, snorkel, shark cage, covering beyond a standard swim suit and no touching of a boat or support vessel. This includes no resting or sleeping.
The pain was incredible from severe sunburn and envenomation from box jellyfish. I even had hypothermia despite the 27°C water and air temperatures (possibly from vasodilation following the envenomation).
The mental challenge was torture akin to what I can only imagine solitary confinement in the dark would be like. I put faith in my team that I wouldn’t be breakfast, lunch or dinner for a hungry sea creature over two days. Being an ocean marathon swim there was every chance the tide or sea conditions could have pushed me away from the finish and that I may have never reached land. I kept faith in my team and my ability to hold an average pace of 3km/hr.
I had an iron-will to keep going despite what I was enduring. I had an incredible team on the boat and in kayaks to get me to the finish line, including my amazing husband Paul McQueeney. The team guided my every stroke and my wonderful sponsors – The Pool Enclosure Company (TPEC) and Lo-Chlor Chemicals (AquaSpa) – supported me behind the scenes. TPEC and AquaSpa are still great supporters today.
I am so very grateful to my team from that swim, my husband, my sponsors and everyone who supports me in my goal to be the best marathon swimmer in the world.