Westbrook woman, 60, completes swim of English Channel

Posted Aug. 22, 2011, at 4:44 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 22, 2011, at 11:28 p.m.

A Mainer has become the oldest American woman to swim across the English Channel.

Pat Gallant-Charette, 60, of Westbrook completed the 21.7-mile swim in about 16 hours, according to her blog.

She reached the shore of France this afternoon, said the 3:14 p.m. blog post.

The post written by Charette’s daughter, Sarah Midgley, stated, “She did it. She did it. She did it.”

Charette’s journey started in Dover, England, at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Charette first attempted the swim in 2008, but had to stop just 1.7 miles from the finish line. She had planned on attempting the swim again in 2009, but windy conditions prevented her from starting the swim.

She experienced difficulty toward the end of the trip because of rough seas and an outgoing tide, according to the blog.

Charette’s swimming resume also includes a completion of the 9-mile Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Africa in just over three hours; a double crossing of Big Sebago Lake (12 miles) and the Chesepeake Bay Swim (4.4 miles). She is also a regular competitor in the Peaks to Portland swim.