Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel swam the English Channel for the 35th time on Sunday. Photo: AFP/Adalberto Roque

LONDON: An Australian marathon swimmer on Sunday became the second woman to break the men’s record for number of Channel crossings — and avoided new UK quarantine rules on French arrivals on her return.

Chloe McCardel, from Sydney, completed her 35th swim across the world’s busiest shipping lane after emerging on the northern French shoreline in the early hours of Sunday.

The 35-year-old said she had been given the all-clear by UK coastguards that she would not have to self-isolate on her return to England later in the day.

Britain imposed a 14-day quarantine rule on all travellers from France and several other countries from early Saturday, following a surge in coronavirus cases on the continent.

McCardel, whose previous feats include the world’s longest unassisted ocean swim in 2014, finished her latest 21-mile Channel crossing in 10 hours and 40 minutes.

It was her fourth swim across the waterway in the past 16 days.

Briton Kevin Murphy holds the men’s record of 34 cross-Channel swims, while the overall record remains the 43 crossings completed by Alison Streeter, dubbed the “Queen of the English Channel”.

“I’m so happy to have finished my 35th crossing,” McCardel said.

“I feel so elated to have finished that swim and to surpass the men’s world record. 

“It was a harder swim that I imagined… There are definite aches and pains, so it was a tough day in the office but super happy to finally hit 35.” – AFP