DOVER, England, August 11 — Doug Comstock’s bid to swim across the English Channel ended early Tuesday night off the coast of France. Doug, an East Granby resident and a 1973 graduate of Canton High, came out of the water with 2½ miles remaining. The coast of France was in sight but it would have required another three-to-four hours of swimming in the 62-degree water.
Comstock, 60, began swimming at around 8 a.m., and swam 19 miles before getting out of the water at around 9:15 p.m. The challenge was that the wind was increasing and the wind chill was a concern for Comstock – even in the water since his shoulders are exposed to the elements.
Swimmers cannot wear any wetsuits and are allowed to wear only a swimsuit, goggle and swim cap. The wind was gusting around 11 knots (13-14 mph) when Comstock came out of the water. Six other swimmers trying to cross the channel today came out of the water before Comstock did.
Comstock came to Europe in mid-July for his attempt to cross the English Channel. He had been waiting until today for favorable conditions to make the attempt to swim 21½ miles from Dover, England to Cape Griz Nez, France.
Comstock has been training for this swim for three years. He has already raised more than $10,000 to donate to Foodshare, which helps distribute food to the needy in Hartford and Tolland County and to the East Granby Friend to Friend food pantry.