Brisbane grandmother Irene Keel could become the oldest person to swim across the English Channel, reclaiming the record for Australia.
A Brisbane grandmother is attempting to become the oldest person to swim the English Channel, just days after a South African snared the record from another Australian.
Irene Keel, just a month shy of turning 74, will swim from Dover early on Monday morning (Monday afternoon AEST) heading for Cap Gris Nez in France.
If she makes it, the grandmother-of-three will write her name into the history books just two days after Cape Town heart surgeon Otto Thaning, 73, completed the feat.
Thaning took just under 13 hours to cross the famous stretch of water on Saturday beating the age record set by 70-year-old Bondi local Cyril Baldock less than three weeks ago.
The surgeon said he wanted to show what older people could do if they took care of their health.
Keel has been at Dover for a number of weeks waiting for the right conditions to attempt her record-breaking swim.
She told AAP a fortnight ago that the 34km marathon required patience.
“If you haven’t (got it), then it starts playing with your head and that’s no good,” the Brisbane woman said.
Keel started swimming aged 50 due to a back problem and has previously swum the Channel three times with relay teams.
Her coaches, Charmian Frend and Trent Grimsey, suggest it might take Keel around 16 hours solo, but she’s not fussed about time.
“Really you can’t tell, it depends on the tide on the day,” she said.
“As far as I’m concerned when I get there is how long it will take me.”
The strict rules of long-distance swimming mean Keel will be wearing a regular swimsuit, a single swimming cap and goggles.
There’ll be no wetsuit and no shark cage either.
Keel will be accompanied by her pilot boat Optimist which can be tracked via cspf.co.uk/tracking.
She is raising funds for motor neurone disease and donations can be made at everydayhero.com.au/event/irenekeel.
Keel is seven months older than Thaning.