A 12-year-old avid swimmer from Martinique has swam nearly 25 miles from St Lucia to his home island.
Christophe Maleau became the youngest person to swim from St Lucia to neighbouring Martinique a month ago. He completed the 40km (24.8 mile) swim in 13 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds. Although not a quick time for adult marathon swimmers, it is incredibly impressive for someone so young.
He joins a very small number of people who have successfully crossed the St Lucia Channel. This group includes two-time Masters world champion Jacques Sicot and French Olympic champion Gilles Rondy. Maleau’s dream is to swim at the Olympics.
This was not his first long-distance swim. In 2017, aged 9, he completed a 6.5km swim, and in 2018, he swam for 10 hours between Diamant and Schoelcher in Martinique.
This time, Maleau raised money for breast cancer; his mother is in remission after suffering from the disease. The event was difficult to organise because of strict COVID-19 protocols, but Maleau managed it. During the swim, his father canoed beside him, while doctors and divers followed in another boat to ensure his safety.
“I held on by singing songs to myself,” said Maleau. “I sometimes wanted to stop because I was tired. But when the idea crossed my mind, I told myself I had no right. I had to continue for the cause I was defending.”
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