A 69 year-old Queensland man, Chris Shapland, has become the second-oldest Australian to swim the English Channel.

It took the dedicated ocean swimmer nearly 16.5 hours.

Noor Gillani reports.


Shapland is an instructor and runs swim schools across Queensland.

He trained extensively for two years for the remarkable challenge.

Chris Shapland, English Channel Swimmer: “Trying to stay relaxed and focused on what I need to do.”

The Sunshine Coast local set out from Dover Beach just after sunrise.

Not bothered with breaking records, he finished in 16 hours and 28 minutes.

Every half-hour, he would re-energize with the help of his support team, which lowered him food.

Sally Dommett, Partner: “He’s swimming really strongly, I’m really happy with how he’s swimming.”

Shapland covered more than 33 kilometres to the beaches of France without the help of artificial aides, battling strong tides.

However, he said it was more mental than physical and stressed the importance of being relaxed in order to conserve energy.

Chris Shapland, English Channel Swimmer: “Bit shattered, bit shattered. My throat is really sore, which is something I didn’t expect. It was a marathon, that’s for sure.”

When asked if he would do it again, Shapland said he’d need a few days to think about it.

Noor Gillani, QUT News.