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Kent, where Shakespeare meets 007

Regulars | By Mary Kenny | September Issue

Mary Kenny on women Channel-swimmers, making the most of your royal passengers and the Irish wake 

In these days of concern about ‘gender equality’ – and such ungallant allegations by John McEnroe that female tennis players can never equal males – let me point to one competitive sport in which women outdo men: Channel swimming. The Queen of the Channel is Alison Streeter, who has completed 43 crossings, while the King of the Channel is Kevin Murphy, who has completed 34. Alison Streeter, born in 1964, has also done an extraordinary three-way solo swim between England and France: that is, from Shakespeare Cli to Cap Gris Nez once, then back again to England, and then back again to France, non-stop. What a gal! It is true that men hold records for speed (the Australian Trent Grimsey crossed in 6 hours 55 minutes, an hour ahead of the fastest female), but women tend to score on endurance. Vive la di érence! Shakespeare Cli is on the road...

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