Oldest person to swim channel is 70

… But record may not last long, as a 73-year-old Brisbane grandmother will set off from Dover for France in a few days

21 August 2014

A 70-YEAR-OLD Australian has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel - but his record may last less than a week.

Sydney native and Bondi lifesaver Cyril Baldock, who is 70 years and nine months, arrived at Cap Gris-Nez 12 hours and 45 minutes after he walked into the sea in Dover on Wednesday.

He beat the 2011 record held by Roger Allsopp, who was five months younger when he made the crossing.

Mr Baldock’s record may only stand for a few days. Another Australian, grandmother Irene Keel from Brisbane, is to attempt the crossing in the next few days. She is 73.

It is not second time Mr Baldock has completed a channel swim. He was the fifth Australian to make the crossing when he did it the first time in 1985. It took him 10 hours and 44 minutes.

But he said after 10 hours in the water this time around, he was worried that he would not be able to complete the challenge.

He decided to make the attempt in honour of his coach Des Renford, who was forced to abandon his own bid following a heart attack.

Photo: Cyril Baldock / Twitter

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