By Tan Kah Peng
LONDON: He has made it: Abdul Malik Mydin swam to the French side of the English Channel at 7.42pm on Sunday (2.42am Malaysian time) on Monday) in his epic swim.
He took about 17 hours 34 minutes to reach the village of Wassant, a distance of about 20 nautical miles (37.5km), about four miles south of his original destination of Cap Gris Nez near Calais.
“The tide and winds were a bit choppy during the last four hours of the swim,” Mike Oram, the boat skipper, told The Star on his mobile. “The channel is always a hard swim.
Marathon swimmer Abdul Malik Mydin (inset)swimming across the 32.8km channel from Dover in England to Calais in France as he began his epic journey at 2.08am (9.08am Malaysian time)yesterday
“It’s a great day for Malaysia. Congratulations to the Malaysian Government and the Sports Minister (for giving Malik the support needed to achieve his goal).”
On hand to greet Malik as he waded to shore were about 30 Malaysians, mainly based in France, saluting the 28-year-old Penang-born marathon swimmer for being the first Malaysian to swim the English Channel.
Asked to speak to Malik and his Australian coach John van Wisse, Oram said both of them were fast asleep in the boat, which reached Dover about 11.30pm (6.30am on Monday).
For Oram, it’s another personal milestone, this time guiding the first Malaysian to make the historical swim, proud to achieve a success rate of 75% over 300 swims.
Malik is the 13th successful swimmer under the guidance of the Channel Swim and Piloting Federation.
The Star, Monday 4/8/2003