Farmington Hills swimmer crosses English Channel

Farmington Hills resident and avid open water swimmer Jenny Birmelin
trained over year for the swim of her life — a treacherous
11-and-a-half hour excursion through the frigid waters of the English
Channel. On Aug. 20, she realized her goal.

Swimming the English Channel is akin to climbing Mount Everest for
aquatic athletes. The swimmers wear normal bathing suits and aren’t
allowed to touch the boat which follows them through the waters. They
leave in the early-morning darkness, swimming by feel rather than sight.
Food is delivered by a basket sent out from the boat. The water
temperature ranged from 63 down to 56 degrees in some pockets.


“I yelled, ‘I can’t be this cold for nine more hours!’ And they said,
‘You’re not going to be. It’s a pocket of cold water. Just keep
swimming,'” said Birmelin. “I got the tough love from my friends and
family on the boat, which is what I needed, a little kick in the butt
right then.”

Read more about Birmelin’s accomplishment here.