Chloe McCardel is a 27 year old marathon swimmer from Melbourne, Australia, who has made a new year’s resolution for 2013. She announced her intention to swim across from Cuba to the United States without a shark cage. So far, she has already completed a total of six solo crossings of the English Channel. Now she is planning to embark on a 170 kilometres (106 miles) solo journey in June, non-stop from Havana in Cuba to Florida’s Key West, which will take between 60-70 hours.
If Chloe is capable of pulling this off, then she will set a new world record for the longest solo unassisted ocean swim. So far, this record is being held by British-Australian Penny Palfrey for a 108-kilometre swim without shark cage or wetsuit in the Caribbean in 2011. This is the very first time in history that Chloe hopes to complete the Gulf Stream and Florida Straits crossing without any protection from a shark cage. Her task of swimming such a long distance is already a challenge, but doing it with no shark cage only adds on to the difficulty that she will be facing. “It is a great time of year to make this announcement, when so many people are celebrating the New Year and thinking about their own dreams and aspirations for the next 12 months,” she added. At the same time, she also admits that her mother would probably “faint” upon hearing her plans.
“I really hope I can inspire more people to push their own boundaries or perceived limitations,” she said. Just earlier this year, Diana Nyad, a 63 year old American distance swimmer, was pulled out from the water halfway during her attempt to cross the same route. Just like Chloe, she tried doing it without a shark cage, but it was the storms, hypothermia and jellyfish stings that ended her fourth attempt at the challenge.
Chloe’s attempt in June next year will help to raise funds for cancer research and support services too. She also indicated that no sharks will be harmed “by the conduct of anyone involved during the swim”. This will be ensured by a conservationist who will be on board with them on the support vessel. It is expected for her to encounter plenty of the marine predators, strong and unpredictable ocean conditions, jellyfish as well as potential wild storms. For the full story, do check it out here.