CAP GRIZ NEZ, France, August 31. YESTERDAY, Roger Allsopp became the oldest person to cross the English Channel at 70 years and four months of age. He completed the swim in 17 hours and 51 minutes.
That swim trumped the previous record for the oldest swimmer to cross the English Channel, previously held by George Brunstad, who crossed the Channel in 2004 at the age of 70 years and four days. Brunstad, who is U.S. actor Matt Damon's uncle, completed his swim in 15 hours and 59 minutes.
Allsopp is a retired breast cancer surgeon, who was wearing a pink cap during his swim.
"I feel really, really good about it. The alternative to fail would have been very sad. It was very hard work and I had to work all the way," Allsopp told the Guardian. "My body has told me not to do anything like this again. I thought it was a long way away and the last bit was particularly hard. I remember treading on sand but I don't remember anything after that until about halfway home on the boat."
Linda Ashmore of the UK holds the record for the oldest woman to cross the Channel at 60 years, 10 months and four days with a 15 hour and 11 minute swim in 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, UK's Thomas Gregory (11 years, 11 months) and Samantha Druce (12 years and 118 days) hold the records for being the youngest male and female to cross the Channel.