Matt Damon's Uncle Swims In Uncharted WatersPosted September 27, 2007, 12:35 pm in Water Sports
Credit Growing Bolder
Just three days after blowing out the candles, he slipped into the waters off Dover and didn't get out until he had crossed the English Channel off the French coast at Sangette. He was in the water for 15 hours and 59 minutes, making him officially the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel.
It was no fluke thing for Brunstad. He told Growing Bolder that he's won more than 100 medals in Masters Swimming events.
He also talked to us about what it's like being Matt Damon's uncle. He said although Matt leads a fascinating life, Uncle George is more than happy with his more quiet and sedate lifestyle.
But all that began to change back in 2004 when Brunstad's swim made him a celebrity in his own right. He said the Channel swim did present some challenges. How did he do it? The Connecticut resident trained in Long Island Sound and the chilly waters of Maine.
In the Channel, he slathered himself in lanolin and petroleum jelly. Then he swam with escort swimmers pulling alongside for a few minutes every six hours to steer him in the right direction. In total, taking into account the tides, he probably swam 32 miles.
But he didn't do it just for himself. He raised $11,000 for a Haitian orphanage. How did he feel the next day? "Stiff and sore." And just a little wrinkled!
Brunstad, who retired in 1994 as a pilot for American Airlines, beat the previous record holder, Australian Clifford Batts, who crossed the Channel in 1987 at the age of 67 and 240 days.
Want to know more? Click the play button below his photo on the right to listen to Growing Bolder's conversation with Brunstad.
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