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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020
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Dublin trio break record swimming the North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland

The North Channel is considered one of the toughest open water swims in the world because of extreme cold water temperatures.

Tom and Ronan during the challenge.
Tom and Ronan during the challenge.

A TRIO OF Irish swimmers from Dublin have broken a world record swimming The North Channel from Northern Ireland to Scotland. 

The team Ocean Breakers, made up of couple Tom Healy and Rachael Lee, as well as Ronan Joyce, swam the North Channel distance of 34.5km in a relay team, each taking a turn to swim for an hour in repeat cycles. 

It took the team nine hours and 40 minutes to complete the challenge, setting out from Donaghadee in Co Down to Portpatrick in Scotland, and beating the previous record set at 10 hours and 18 minutes in 2012 by a team from the US. 

The North Channel is considered one of the toughest open water swims in the world because of the cold water temperatures.

Sealife such as Lion’s Mane jellyfish, basking sharks, dolphins and killer whales – which have been known to swim alongside relay swimmer – live in the waters. 

The record attempt was independently sanctioned and certified by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. 

ROnan Rachael and Tom Ronan, Rachael and Tom.

Speaking after the crossing, Rachael, who along with partner Tom, is a full-time firefighter, said: “Although we are already seasoned sea swimmers and have been training hard, this was a whole different ball game and took us to the absolute brink of our capabilities, both mentally and physically.”

Tom said: “Even by our standards it was unbelievable dangerous endurance swimming at the very edge of human limits which is why we did it as a relay team.” 

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