“I’m just an ordinary person… trying to swim to France.”
Oh, and the Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the
world with 600 tankers passing through and 200 ferries and
other vessels going across daily.
“I say this a lot. There are a lot of things that can stop you
in the Channel,” Goodwin says. “Jellyfish are a big concern
for me. That’s not something I can prepare for. It can be dark,
it can be cold, it can be rainy. Even if you get the perfect day,
you still are swimming over 21 miles in water under 62 degrees
Fast swimmers can make it in seven hours under ideal
weather conditions. In poor conditions, it’s been known to take
27 hours or more.
“It varies a lot between swimmers and the conditions,”
Goodwin says. “It can be incredibly choppy. I’ve been told by
people who have done it before that it will probably take 10-12
In the early 1920s, English mountaineer George Mallory
launched three unsuccessful attempts to climb Mount Everest.
There had been no known summits of the world’s tallest
mountain (and wouldn’t be until Edmund Hillary and Tenzing
Norgay reached the top in 1953). When asked why he would
try such an impossible feat, Mallory famously replied, “Because
Right: Laura Goodwin enters the Atlantic for her final Wrightsville
Beach training swim on March 5, 2022. Below: Goodwin swims
on Jan. 9, 2022. The water temperature was 55 F. both days.
— Laura Goodwin blog entry
ALLISON POTTER ALLISON POTTER