Sport Challenge : Steve Stievenart tells his crossing of the English Channel in 21 hours
Steve Stievenart managed to cross the Strait between Dover and Calais. It took six hours longer than expected given the harsh weather conditions. He tell us this incredible challenge.
On the phone, this Thursday afternoon, the voice is clear, cheerful, and does not suggest any signs of exhaustation. Steve Stievenart, (he lives between Wimereux and Dubai), has just managed to achieve the feat of swimming across the English Channel. And when you spend twenty hours and fifty-five minutes turning your arms and beating your feet in water at most 18º, you can legitimately be drained.
It is bad to know Steve Stievenart, beautiful baby of 1.80 m for 102 kilos. "It's been four months since I started swimming in whitewater here in Dover," he says. With English friends, we do cycles of ten hours in the water. Sometimes two days in a row. So swimming for twenty-one hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday night, it did not seem very difficult. " Officials are uncompromising Initially, he planned to put between twelve and fifteen hours to complete the crossing. At the end, it took six more hours. "I touched the embankment dyke of the port of Calais, but the British officials did not validate. So I had to swim another 800 meters to reach a very small beach where there was a seal awaiting me. The marine animal was not the only one to encourage it on the last meters, two dolphins also accompanied it a moment.
Steve Stievenart originally planned to make the England-France-England round trip but the sea conditions dissuaded him from leaving again. "It would have been too dangerous for me as well as for the accompanying boat. There were strong currents, hollows. It was better to stop there. But I am very happy to have made this crossing. "