Swimmer aborts channel record attempt

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The Independent Online

A German swimmer aborted an attempt today to reclaim the world record for the fastest swim across the English Channel.

Christof Wandratsch, 42, set out from Margate, Kent, at 6am with the aim of reaching Cap Gris Nez in less than six hours and 57 minutes.

But he abandoned the attempt about nine miles short of the French coast just over three and a half hours in after realising it would be unsuccessful.

Afterwards, he said: "There were a variety of reasons why I felt I wouldn't make it. There wasn't enough wind from the back and I felt I wasn't fast enough from the beginning.

"If I had carried on I wouldn't have made it until around seven hours and 20 minutes so I decided that rather than continue, it would be best to stop."

Mr Wandratsch, from Burghausen, set the world record for the fastest Channel swim in August 2005 with a time of seven hours and three minutes, beating the previous record by 14 minutes.

In 2007, Bulgarian Petar Stoychev stole the crown when he broke the record with a time of six hours and 57 minutes.

Mr Wandratsch said: "I'm disappointed but looking forward to relaxing. I may try again but not this season."