New record for late season English Channel swim

French swimmer Steve ‘the Seal’ Stievenart is set to claim a new record for the latest English Channel swim on Thursday, 11 November completing his swim in 16 hours and 47 minutes.

Subject to ratification, Steve will beat the previous record held by Briton Howard James who swam England to France on November 3, 2016.

The success adds to an impressive list of marathon swimming, in August he swam the 40 Bridges Manhattan swim, a 91.8 km double circumnavigation swim of Manhattan Island, New York and the 37km length of Loch Ness in Scotland. Then in September he became the 92nd swimmer to complete the notoriously tough North Channel between Ireland and Scotland. His swimming CV includes a relay crossing of Lake Baikal in Siberia, around Jersey, a two-way Channel crossing as well as two other English Channel solo swims.

The English Channel is famously difficult at the best of times, but in November the water temperature starts to drop and the weather is unpredictable. Steve’s swim was tough, Kathy Batts, the CS&PF Treasurer and Observer Liaison Officer said, “It was truly amazing to see in such changing and challenging conditions.” Piloted by Marilyn Critchely onboard High Hopes, the water temperature ranged between 12ºc and 14ºc. He started off Samphire Hoe, Dover at 3.14am in the morning and landed on the beach at Cap Banc Nez, between Calais and Wissant at 8.01pm UK time.

Steve uses his extreme sporting challenges to help raise awareness and support his foundation, Stop Plastic Pollution. He is an activist committed to a global cause to act against environmental hazards in marine environments. The foundation works with schools and children all over world as well as with scientists to study pollution. A plastic artist, Steve collects objects washed up by the sea at his local beach which he then sorts and takes inventory in his workshop. Amongst his haul he has discovered televisions, toxic products, a refrigerator and a vacuum cleaner!

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