U.S. swimmer becomes first woman to swim the 21-mile St. Lucia Channel
The amateur swimmer from Nebraska, Molly Nance accomplished a remarkable feat last week when she swam the 21 miles that connect the St. Lucia Channel to a beach in Martinique. Supported by her husband and a team of 11 passengers, the 52-year-old managed to traverse the channel in just 14 hours, giving way to the inauguration of a new national event, the St. Lucia Channel Swim.
A couple of hours before sunrise on Wednesday 16th May, U.S. swimmer Molly Nance started a journey that would make her the first woman to swim across the St. Lucia Channel.
Supported by her husband and a support team of 11 boat passengers, she reached Cariblue Beach at The BodyHoliday resort in the early hours of the morning, entering the water at around 4:38 a.m. and starting her 21-mile-long swim only five minutes later, as Captain Martin Thomas blew his boat’s horn, signalling the start of a legendary feat.
By midday Nance had done half of her journey after reaching a half-way point of the channel, the sun was at its highest point then and both islands were visible on both sides. She reached her final destination at 6:39 p.m. after stepping into the shoreline of a small beach in Saint Anne’s, Martinique and making history.
Nance had previously attempted to swim the English Channel in 2014 but an illness made her cancel her plans. Now she can proudly boast the title of First Woman to Swim the St. Lucia Channel.
The 21.2 miles journey was first completed by swimmer Jacques Sicot in 1987, who swam from Martinique to St. Lucia in over 19 hours, after being swept off-course by a current. He attempted it again two years later, swimming in the opposite direction and completed the journey in around 12 hours.
After Nance’s ground-breaking feat, which was witnessed by Honorable Minister Dominic Fedee and Director of Sports Patrick Mathurin, government authorities launched a new annual national event - the St. Lucia Channel Swim, to ensure that Nance’s incredible feat is not the last one.
During the celebration of the new event launch, which was hosted at Cap Maison restaurant, organisers discussed the perils and intricacies of embarking on such a physically-demanding journey.
St Lucia’s first Channel Swim will be held from 6 to 8 July 2018 with world record holder and English Channel swimmer Philip Rush leading the 3-day event, overseeing open water clinics on 6th July and officiating the Channel Swim on the following day, which will depart from Smugglers Cove at Cap Maison Beach.
Following the channel swim, the day’s events will continue with an open water swim open to the public, where participating swimmers will cover distances of 1K, 3K and 5K distances.
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