Swimmer Katie Blair successfully completed her swim from Saint Lucia to Martinique, but aborted the return journey Wednesday morning seven miles from the Saint Lucia shoreline.
Confirmation came from the lead organiser and director of Saint Lucia Channel Swim, Sue Dyson.
Dyson told St Lucia Times that the swim went very well.
She described Blair’s performance as ‘stellar’.
The Indiana native’s swim from Saint Lucia to Martinique started at 1.27 am on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
Dyson disclosed that Blair completed that swim in an unofficial time of 12 hours and 30 minutes, which has to be ratified.
“She, within five minutes, turned around and went back into the water to swim from Martinique back to Saint Lucia,” Dyson recalled.
She told St Lucia Times that in total, Blair swam for over 29 hours and covered over 66 kilometres.
“She ended up about 6.30 am Wednesday about seven miles from the coast of Saint Lucia -from the shoreline when we agreed, both she and I, that she needed to stop swimming,” Dyson said.
Dyson explained that Blair was physically exhausted at that point, even though she had trained hard for the event.
“On top of that she had a few jellyfish stings because of the location and that was causing more problems for her, ” the Saint Lucia Channel Swim official said.
Dyson observed that the main factor in Blair not reaching the Saint Lucia shoreline was the number of hours being caught in the current.
“She was just caught in a situation where she was not moving a large distance, meaning she was maybe going one, one and a half KM over an hour period.”
Dyson noted that normally someone would complete two to three KM in an hour or even more, depending on the current.
“But when the current has you going 1 KM, 1 and a half KM during an hour period it really holds you back. Several times she did less than a KM,” she told St Lucia Times.