Westport swimmer sets two Guinness World Records
WESTPORT — Elizabeth Fry, a long-distance swimmer and Westport resident, recently added two Guinness World Record titles to her growing list of accomplishments.
Her official titles are oldest person to swim the Ocean Seven (female) and oldest person to swim the Oceans Seven (overall), the organization announced Thursday. The marathon swimming challenge consists of seven open-water swims including the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Back in August, 60-year-old Fry conquered her seventh and final swim in the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, becoming one of only 18 people in the world — and the third American — to complete the challenge.
With two world records under her belt, Fry continues to build upon her extensive open-water swimming career.
She began swimming at age 6 for the Water Rats at the Westport Weston Family YMCA. After attending Staples High School, Fry swam for the University of Connecticut. After leaving Storrs, she began competing in master’s swimming. Her longest distances were mostly the annual Point-to-Point swim, which is a mile. When she was 25, she swam Lake Candlewood, which is 10 miles.
Her first big swim of note took place in 2011, when Fry set a record for the Ederle swim by completing the 17.5-mile course from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, N.J. with a time of 4 hours and 49 minutes. She was the first person ever to swim the course roundtrip, and her return trip to New York took a little more than six hours. Overall, she completed the 35-mile swim in 11 hours, 5 minutes and 7 seconds.
She swam the English Channel for the first time in her mid-40s, and was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2014.
Three years ago, she was one of 14 swimmers nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award for 2016. It was the fourth time since 2009 she was nominated for the award, though she didn’t win.
Includes previous reporting by Eliot Schickler and Ryan Lacey; email@example.com.