Australian woman Irene Keel, 73, wants to become the oldest person to swim the English Channel just days after another Aussie set a new record aged 70.
Brisbane grandmother Irene Keel hopes to nab three records with just one swim by crossing the English Channel in the coming days.
The 73-year-old’s main aim is to become the oldest person ever to swim from England to France.
“It’s a big thing, I actually will have three records,” Keel told AAP from Dover where she’s waiting for the best conditions to tackle the 34km marathon to Cap Gris Nez.
“I will be the oldest person, the oldest woman and the oldest Australian.
“Three titles for the price of one swim – I think that’s pretty good.”
Keel could make her attempt on Sunday but if conditions aren’t suitable she’ll likely wait another week.
The Australian wants to swim on a neap, rather than a spring, tide.
“It’s a waiting game and you have to have patience,” she said.
“If you haven’t, then it starts playing with your head and that’s no good.
“I’m here in England until September 5 so hopefully somewhere in that time, on a neap tide, I will have a nice day.”
But, Keel admits, there are no guarantees when it comes to the Channel.
If the grandmother of three does complete the swim she’ll seize the record from Bondi lifesaver Cyril Baldock who only claimed the title on Wednesday.
The 70-year-old NSW grandfather made history in 12 hours and 45 minutes.
Keel, who started swimming aged 50 due to a back problem, has previously swum the Channel three times with relay teams.
Her coaches, Charmian Frend and Trent Grimsey, suggest it might take the Brisbane woman around 16 hours solo, but she’s not fussed about time.
“Really you can’t tell, it depends on the tide on the day,” Keel said.
“As far as I’m concerned when I get there is how long it will take me.”
Fellow Queenslander Grimsey holds the record for the fastest Channel crossing having completed the feat in six hours 55 minutes in 2012.
Keel has been guided by him but will be inspired during her marathon by the memory of friend Scott Sullivan who died in April from motor neurone disease.
“Each time I saw him he was going downhill a bit more and yet he always had a smile on his face,” Keel said, adding that her pilot boat would carry a large banner with his photograph.
“That will be my inspiration and motivation across the Channel.”
People wanting to support Keel and MND research can visit everydayhero.com.au/event/irenekeel/irene.