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70-year-old Australian man becomes oldest person to swim across English Channel

Published on Aug 21, 2014 10:59 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - A 70-year-old Australian grandfather has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel, celebrating his feat by having a couple of beers "for medicinal purposes".

Cyril Baldock, from Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs, said the beer tasted better than the sea water he swallowed during the record-breaking swim from England to France on Wednesday, which made him "pretty crook", or unwell.

Baldock, aged 70 years and nine months, took 12 hours and 45 minutes to swim from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez - a straight line distance of 34 kilometres (21 miles) - beating the previous record set by British man Roger Allsopp, who was five months younger, in 2011.

"I'm having a couple of beers for medicinal purposes only, to make myself sleep," Baldock told Australian Associated Press after he completed the swim in only a cap, goggles and trunks as Channel swimming rules dictate.

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