ENGLAND, August 9. TINA Neill, 39, of St. Paul, Minnesota, became the first person to successfully complete a solo crossing of the English Channel using only the backstroke.
She walked into the surf, backward, at 2:50 am at Samphire Hoe Beach just outside Dover and landed on Wissant Beach, France, again walking out backward, at 4:12 pm for a total time of 13 hours and 22 minutes.
Neill was accompanied by her Coach Bob Pearson of Macalaster College Aquatics, her sister, Kathy Guinn and her neice Colleen Guinn on the support boat piloted by Reg Brickell.
Neill is also an assistant coach at Macalaster College Aquatics and a member of Minnesota Masters.