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Comstock swims 19 miles before bid to swim across English Channel ends

East Granby's Doug Comstock, a Canton High graduate, is in the water today trying to swim across the English Channel.

East Granby’s Doug Comstock, a Canton High graduate, swam 19 miles Tuesday in his bid to swim across the English Channel. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest)

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.

East Granby's Doug Comstock swims away from the English cliffs at Dover.

East Granby’s Doug Comstock swims away from the English cliffs at Dover. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest )

Swimmers trying to cross the English Channel cannot wear wetsuits. Only a swimsuit, cap, goggles and nose plugs are allowed.

Comstock is high spirits just before he began his swim this morning. Swimmers trying to cross the English Channel cannot wear wetsuits. (Photo courtesy Liberty Forrest)

Click here for our story on Comstock’s preparations to swim in England and his patience in waiting for good weather to make his attempt to cross the channel.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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