Another record for extreme swimmer Nathalie Pohl

The extreme swimmer has set yet another record: Nathalie Pohl swum around the British Channel Island of Jersey! The 28-year-old reached the finish line at the breakwater in Elizabeth Castle on 18 July in the exceptional time of 9:43:27 hours. She was the fourth fastest woman on one of the world’s most technically challenging marathon swims.

It’s not just the scenery that’s breathtaking: the swim covers a distance of around 66 kilometres
The Round Jersey swim takes the athlete past some very beautiful countryside. Circumnavigating the island in an anticlockwise direction, swimmers pass long sandy beaches and the gentle cliffs of the northern coast. But the total length of around 66 kilometres (41 miles) quickly makes it clear that this is far from a walk in the park – it’s a tough act of endurance. While the currents depend on the tides – with a little luck, the swimmer may have the power of the sea on their side – you’re still in the water for an energy-sapping ten to twelve hours at least, pushing swimmers right to their limits. So Nathalie Pohl was all the more delighted when she arrived at the finish line: “I set a world record here in Jersey three years ago now. I wanted to come back again and prove what I am capable of. The fact that it went so well this time, too, is something I’m very proud of. And it shows me that the tough training was all worth it.” In order to be able to put in such a performance, everything has to work out perfectly on the day of the swim: From the preparation to the weather conditions to her physical fitness and also, perhaps above all, her mental state. The fact that Nathalie Pohl enjoyed such a success again in Jersey is not a fluke but the result of months of hard work involving hours and hours of training every day, going beyond the swimming itself. Having said that, although much can be planned in advance before a swim like this, and the training plan can be followed down to the letter, every swim follows its own rules and the ocean is an unpredictable place. That’s exactly what Nathalie Pohl loves about open-water swimming.

Where fortune and misfortune are a hair’s breadth apart
As she explains: “I gave it my all today. Achieving success in the North Sea again is something very special for me. This is where I experienced my greatest defeat but also two incredible victories.” Eight years ago, at the start of her open-water swimming career, Nathalie Pohl set off from a point nearby in her attempt to swim the English Channel. The attempt nearly cost her her life. One year later, she was back and broke the German record for the 34-kilometre swim. Nathalie Pohl returned to the North Sea in 2020 with her sights set on the Jersey Channel, a 22.5-kilometre stretch that separates the Channel Island from the French mainland. Nathalie Pohl made the Jersey Channel crossing in 5:29:37 hours and has held the world record since.

Within reach: The first German woman to complete the “Ocean’s Seven”
Whether British waters continue to be favourable to her remains to be seen next year. It is then that Nathalie Pohl will be once again taking to the North Sea for her attempt at the seventh and final stage of the “Ocean’s Seven”: the chilly 14-degree waters of the North Channel separating Ireland and Scotland. If she succeeds, she will be the 23rd person in the world and the first German woman ever to accomplish it.

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