US swimmer becomes oldest woman to cross English Channel

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A 66-year-old from the United States has become the oldest woman to swim across the English Channel.

Pat Gallant-Charette battled lower-than-expected water temperatures, difficulty keeping her food down and a jellyfish sting on her face. She wrote on her blog that also saw a large dorsal fin that turned out to be a sunfish, not a shark.

The Channel Swimming Association confirmed the achievement for the retired nurse from Westbrook, Maine, who swam Saturday from Dover, England, to Marquay, France. Gallant-Charette said the last mile took nearly three hours because of strong currents.

The swim took about 18 hours in total.

Gallant-Charette previously crossed the channel in 2011 at age 60. She tried but failed last year. This time, she broke a 2010 record held by 64-year-old Australian Sue Oldham.