PORTPATRICK, SCOTLAND- On Monday, August 20th Baylor Swim Club Tri-Masters Coach Jenny Smith finished the North Channel Swim in 13 hours and 6 minutes. The open water ultra distance swim began in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and finished in Portpatrick, Scotland on the Mull of Galloway, which is about 21.5 miles long. The North Channel swim is approximately the same distance as the English Channel, but it has two major differences. The first is the sea temperature, which can be 3-5 degrees lower ( 10-14 degrees Celcius) and the second is the hundreds of Lions Mane jellyfish which plague the Channel during the summer months and are for the most part unavoidable.
It is widely regarded as one of the hardest sea swims in the world. This unique demanding swim is peppered with unusual swimming conditions, changeable weather, jellyfish and a low temperature. This ultimate long distance challenge has eluded many swimmers, and their are tough qualifying swims, so people do not undertake this endeavour lightly.
Smith has just completed the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming this summer. Membership of the Triple Crown requires the authenticated completion of three famous marathon swims: 21 miles(33.7 km) across the English Channel between England and France, 20.2 miles (33 km) across the Catalina Channel in Southern California, USA, and 28.5 miles (45.8 km) around Manhattan Island in New York, USA. She completed these three swims in less than one year, and is now recognized by the World Open Water Swimming Association as the 174th athlete to complete the Triple Crown ultra-distance races. Coach Jenny Smith finished the English Channel Swim in August of 2017. She swam the grueling race in 11 hours and 13 minutes, and swam a total of 28 miles. She completed the Catalina Channel Swim in 10 hours and 45 minutes in October of 2017, and finally she finished the 28 mile 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Marathon. She finished this swim in 8 hours and 52 minutes, which is an ultra-distance swim around the Island of Manhattan.