- Elizabeth Fry
- 29:42:21 hour(s):minute(s):second(s)
- United Kingdom (Heddon's Mouth)
The fastest aggregate time to swim the Original Triple Crown by a female (and overall) is 29 hours 42 minutes 21 seconds, achieved by Elizabeth Fry (USA) when she successfully swam across the Bristol Channel between Porthcawl (south Wales) and Heddon's Mouth (Devon), UK, in a time of 9 hours 24 minutes 10 seconds on 23 August 2023. Fry was piloted by Ceri Davies on board the vessel Cobra. She had previously swam the English Channel between England and France on 20 August 2003 (in 9 hours 5 minutes) and the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, UK, on 25 August 2019 (in 11 hours 13 minutes 11 seconds).
Fry is only the sixth woman in history to complete the Original Triple Crown, first achieved by Siân Clement (UK) when she swam across the North Channel on 10 July 2022. Clement's OTC aggregate time was 39 hours 34 minutes 32 seconds, but it's worth noting that she opted to swim a longer route across the Bristol Channel, between Ilfracombe and Swansea. Fry surpassed the OTC time of 32 hours 40 seconds that had been achieved by Croatian swimmer Dina Levačić just a couple of weeks earlier, following her crossing of the Bristol Channel on 9 August 2023.
Fry's (b. 28 October 1958) North Channel swim in 2019 also secured her the record of becoming the oldest person to complete the Oceans Seven swimming challenge, aged 60 years 301 days on the final leg. The Oceans Seven consists of swimming across the following challenging waterways around the world: the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, UK; the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand; the Kaiwi/Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai Islands in Hawaii, USA; the English Channel between England and France; the Catalina Channel between Catalina Island and the southern California mainland; the Tsugaru Strait/Channel between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan; and the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.
Currently, the fastest aggregate time to swim the Original Triple Crown by a male is 31 hours 57 minutes 30 seconds, achieved by Martyn Webster (UK) when he swam across the Bristol Channel from Glenthorne to Porthcawl on 19 September 2022.
The first person to complete the Original Triple Crown of open-water swimming was Kevin Murphy (UK) in 1971: he swam the English Channel on 15 August 1968 (15 hours 55 minutes), the North Channel on 11 September 1970 (11 hours 21 minutes) and the Bristol Channel on 14 July 1971 (13 hours 54 minutes) - a cumulative time of 41 hours 10 minutes.
The modern Triple Crown of open-water swimming also includes the English Channel as one of its three required crossings, but the other two routes are located in the USA: the Catalina Channel between Santa Catalina Island and mainland California and a circumnavigation swim of Manhattan Island in New York.