When All Hell Breaks Loose In The Channel

Courtesy of Gordon Gridley, Salt Lake Open Water, Utah.

Chad Starks was finally able to walk upon the shores of France in his swimsuit, cap and goggles on September 20th.

“After years of training, Chad finally got to live his dream and successfully swim the English Channel. He was pushed much further to the east than the ideal of Cap Gris Nez. Regardless, he was able to arrive at the sandy beach just west of Calais. He was hit by dozens of jellyfish, but was able to keep on swimming and ignore the pain as much as possible.

I was just swimming away and felt like I was in a good groove and just after the sun had come up all hell was about to break loose,” Starks writes. “I knew I was going to get stung by some jellies, but I had know idea how many stings I would have the opportunity to experience over the next several hours. The jellies would come in waves every 10 or so minutes they would get stuck on my eyebrows and then under my arms then down to my legs. It wouldn’t hurt while they were on me it seemed, but as soon as the moved to another body part the pain would set in.

I tried swimming next to the boat, just behind the boat and everywhere else I could think of to no avail. My lips were numb from the stings and I was afraid that my crew would think I was getting hypothermia because I couldn’t talk and my speech was slurred. It came to the point that for every sting I would just power thru it and quit my complaining

His route of his 16 hour 56 minute crossing is here. His crossing in his own words is here.

Video of Starks’ onshore finish in France was taken by Gordon Gridley of Salt Lake Open Water.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association