WORLD RECORD

Australian Cyril Baldock sets English Channel swim age record

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 9:37pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 9:37pm
AFP

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An Australian grandfather has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel, celebrating his feat by having a couple of beers "for medicinal purposes".

Cyril Baldock, 70, from the Sydney beach-side suburb of Bondi, said the beers tasted better than the sea water he swallowed during the record-breaking swim from England to France on Wednesday that made him feel unwell.

Baldock took 12 hours and 45 minutes to swim from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez. a straight line distance of 34km, beating the previous age record set by Briton Roger Allsopp, who was five months younger, in 2011.

"I'm having a couple of beers for medicinal purposes only, to make myself sleep," Baldock said after he completed the swim in only a cap, goggles and trunks as Channel swim rules dictate.

"Around the 10-hour mark I had a bad half-hour and was starting to worry a bit," he said.

"The arms were really sore, and I didn't seem to be making much ground, but I kicked on again."

Baldock, who first swam the Channel in 1985, becoming the fifth Australian to complete the course, said he wanted to break the record for his mentor and coach Des Renford, who wanted to make the swim but suffered a heart attack.