ST. PAUL, Minn, September 19. TINA Neill, Masters Swimming Coach at Macalester College successfully swam the English Channel on her first attempt on Saturday, July 26, 2003.
Ms. Neill Swam from Samphire Hoe beach (Dover, England) starting at 8:39 am and reached Strouanne, France at 8:00pm. The nearly 30 mile swim took 11 hours 21 minutes.
Only 20-25 percent of those attempting to swim the channel are successful the first time. The average time to finish the cross-channel swim is 12-14 hours, though the range is from 7 hours 17 minutes to 26 hours 50 minutes. The actual distance from Dover, England to Cap Gris-Nez in France is 23.69 land miles. The approximate 30 mile swimming distance occurs because tides push and pull a swimmer; consequently a swimmer’s path becomes more like an S than a straight line.
Tina Neill was accompanied by Macalester College Head Swimming Coach Bob Pearson and her sister Kathy Guinn of Carbondale, CO. Neill is the only person from Minnesota and one of only 37 American women who have successfully completed the solo Channel swim.