World Record
Achieved the August 2, 2010

First French disabled person to cross the Channel swim

  • Discipline : Aquatics sport > Swimming
  • Disability : Agénésie fémorale jambe gauche (né sans fémur jambe gauche)
  • Set by : Stéphane LORENZO
  • Nationality : French
  • Location : Douvres / Calais

Stephane Lorenzo, 37 was born without a thighbone on the left leg. He is married, has two kids and works as a lifeguard and swimming instructor in Aix-les-Bains. On Aug 2 , 2010 he crossed the Channel in 16 hours 11 mn. The crossing was validated by the Channel Swimming Association. “I’ve swum in the same conditions as the other channel swimmers, only equiped with a silicone swimming cap, goggles, bathing suit and grease, as wetsuits and fins are prohibited. Water temperature is 16° Celcius. The Channel crossing is known as the Everest of swimming as it simply is the hardest swimming “competition”: cold water, strong currents, jellyfish and intense maritime traffic, 600 boats per day. I meet up with my captain Ray Cooper at 00.30 am on monday 2nd of august at the Dover Port Authorities. We reached Shakespeare beach where I was to start from after a little half hour in the team boat. There my team greased me and at 1.50am the beach was lit up by a spotlight. There was no turning back. I jumped in the water and swam to the beach for I had to do a landstart to validate the record. The boat blew its foghorn to give me my start. Water was 16°C, it was pitch dark , I had two flashing lights on my head and one on my bathing suit for the boat to see me. As the day was slowly rising I motivated myself by thinking about the finish line. In my moments of doubt I thought about my children, I wanted them to be proud of me. I also thought about all the people, that supported me and believed in me for the last two years as well as my sponsors, I couldnt let them down. I put in practice my relaxation therapy lessons and went beyond physical pain. A few hours later I was joined by some jellyfish, small and bigger ones, as well as a seagull that followed me. We all crossed the maritime traffic safely, some of the boats were very impressive. As I was approaching the coast, yet still far, I noticed my teamboat drifting away. My team mates informed me the tide was in my favour. I understood the captain was doing his best to facilitate my arrival even if I felt like I was swimming in zig-zags. My team was really important at that moment as my arms were really aching, I was frozen and weakened both mentally and physically. I was all tears from exhaustion and happiness. They cheered me as loud as possible, I regained some energy, the coast was at an arms’ reach. I reached the beach as a wreck, yet found the strengh to drag my self out of the water and sit on a rock. 16 hours, 11 minutes. I was officially a Channel Swimmer! I had won my challenge! I couldnt think about anything, I had tears of joy, nothing could describe the sensation I felt! I had to swim back to the boat, the hardest was to climb back up, I was out of strengh. My team helped me up the ladder, cheered and congradulated me. As the boat headed back, my team dressed me up, wrapped me in a blanket but I was still so cold that the captain gave me an orange survival suit and I sheltered myself from the wind. It took two hours to cross back... so I was told, I was sound asleep! Some dolfins came to congradulate me! As for myself this was an unforgetable experience, full of emotions and doubt. I didnt think it would have been that hard, and my favourite phrase “ no pain no gain” is really adequate for this challenge! Im not yet ready to engage myself in another crazy challenge at the moment but who knows??... Big thanks to Marianne and Fred! “ Stephane. ------------------------------------------ DOCUMENTS : ------------------------------------------

Pictures of the record