SAINT LUCIA CHANNEL CONQUERED
Molly Nance is the first documented woman to swim the channel between Saint Lucia and Martinique. She achieved this on 16th May, 2018 in 13 hours and 56 minutes.
Molly, a 52-year-old American, swam competitively throughout her youth but was in her 40s when she discovered the joys of open water swimming. She attempted crossing the English Channel in 2014 but had to abandon the challenge when she became nauseous after swallowing too much sea water.
Last year, when a friend visited Saint Lucia and told Molly about our beautiful warm waters, she looked us up on a map and noticed that the channel between here and Martinique is about the same distance as the English Channel: 21 miles (34 kilometers). She resolved that this would be her next goal, and hopefully her triumph.
After much training and preparation, Molly entered the record books this year, on 16th May. She set off in the dark at
4.43 am from a beach in the extreme north of Saint Lucia, accompanied by a support boat captained by Bruce Hackshaw. The onboard team included the official observer, Sue Dyson of St Lucia Channel Swim, and Molly’s supportive husband – her ‘rock’ – Paul.
The rules for an official channel swim stipulate that only a bathing suit, goggles and a swim cap may be worn; no wet suit is allowed. For protection against the sun and for insulation, Molly slathered lanolin, nappy (diaper) rash cream and suncream over her body. On her ankles she wore ‘shark bands’ although the only foe she encountered was jellyfish.
To successfully complete a channel swim, there must be no physical contact by the swimmer with an accompanying vessel (Molly also had support from a friend in a kayak), even when taking “feeds”: a water bottle on a line had to be thrown to Molly who was permitted to tread water for no more than two minutes at a time.
After completing this tremendous feat of endurance, Molly declared, “I’m ecstatic! There are not many things left in the world where you can be the first one to have done something. And to be from farm country, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and make this swim in the Caribbean was a great experience.”
Congratulations Molly, from all at TT!
“I’m ecstatic! There are not many things left in the world where you can be the first one to have done something. And to be from farm country, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and make this swim in the Caribbean was a great experience.”
St Lucia Channel Swim
The waters around Saint Lucia are perfect for the growing sport of open water swimming. An inaugural event was hosted here from 6th to 8th July, 2018 incorporating an Open Water Swim Clinic with New Zealander expert and record holder Philip Rush, an Open Water Swim Meet with 1k, 3k and 5k races in Rodney Bay in front of the St. Lucia Yacht Club, and a channel swim. The event was sanctioned by the Marathon Swimmers Federation and will take place annually.
The dates for 2019 are 5th to 7th July. Registration for the channel swim must be submitted at least 90 days in advance. If you are interested in attempting this challenge, please contact St Lucia Channel Swim:
Facebook Page: @SLUChannelSwim