Which if any pro triathlete could

Swim the channel non wetsuit?

Pretty much any of them could do it within this calendar year if they had a slot. Late season end August beginning September is the best time to go as you have the highest sea temperatures and lowest winds so a decent chance at a good weather slot.

They would already be doing some long sets as a pro and in the pool a lot already so I think they’d only need a couple of 3-4 hour swims and a 6 hour qualification swim on top of normal swimming. A bit of acclimatisation to some colder water and I’d imagine any of them would be absolutely fine.

Swimming the channel is all about desire though and if your heart isn’t in it then it is always going to be tough. There’s no race as such so no external competition and many pros thrive on the competitive side so physically I think almost all would be fine but mentally is where any issues would be.

Yep, most of them. LCB being the most obvious.

Would a pro triathlete struggle with low body fat in cold water for that length of time?

it’s all in the training and acclimitasation to the cold (and some luck with weather and tides). I have friends who have done it - ordinary swimmers, no great speedsters, but just trained and mentally up for it.

1 Like

Lionel! And he’d prep for it solely in his endless pool…


Interesting Q, I reckon any pro triathlete would have the fitness & mental strength to do it, but suspect most might have body fat too low to do it without getting hypothermia.

Different physiques required to run a pro-level10km versus to swim for 8+ hours in cold water.

Women typically have a higher body fat than men, true at elite athlete level too. So my money would be on a female athlete just because of this.

Female athletes also have higher levels of eating disorder. Joining those dots perhaps we should be mindful about what we say in this thread & tread carefully and kindly :+1:

1 Like

Can’t lay my hands on it but there was a blog post by a decent Aussie AGer a few years back, think he was a Kona vet. He swam the channel but deliberately gained a lot of weight in preparation, from memory like 3 or 4 stone or something, taking BF% from below 10% to above 20% ??

Yep all about the BF issue for me when i read the thread. You look at someone like AB or JF and they are not carrying any excess. They’re gonna freeze!

So whilst most could given favourable conditions who would succeed? Who is Gnarly enough and single minded enough to make it …who would absolutely smash it in good conditions but wrap it in when it’s dark, cold, choppy and the lights of the french coast are way off!

I think Lucy would be a fair bet for success (strong open water swim history) and David McNamee too because he is Scottish and therefore pretty hardy.
Ali B would be pulled out a hypothermic jibbering mess not for lack of trying more because he won’t give up.

i reckon the kiwis would get it done. Someone like Braden Currie with his adventure racing background.

Swimsmooth Paul had to gain a lot of weight, maybe who you are thinking of.