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Britain's Julie Bradshaw sets record Manhattan swim

source: www.bbc.co.uk 

A British woman has achieved her 20th world record by becoming the first person to swim around Manhattan Island, New York using the butterfly stroke.

Dr Julie Bradshaw, 47, from Loughborough, Leicestershire completed the 28.5 mile swim in nine hours, 28 minutes and 37 seconds, on Saturday.

A lightning storm stopped her previous attempt at the record in 2004.

The multiple record holder was awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to swimming and charity fundraising.

Sponsorship for her latest swim will be donated to Rainbows Children's Hospice in Loughborough.

'Amazingly warm'

Dr Bradshaw was participating in the Manhattan Island Relays - a race which follows an anti-clockwise route around the island, taking in the Hudson, Harlem and East rivers.

"When I hit the Hudson it was really, really rough. There was quite a lot of southerly wind and it actually whipped the water up, so the last 14 miles was a big, big struggle," she said.

Dr Bradshaw is no stranger to open water swimming - she first swam the English Channel as a 15-year-old - but said the New York swim was quite different to UK events.

"The water was amazingly warm, it was as warm as a swimming pool at points - it was at about 80 degrees," she said.

"Usually it's the cold that's the problem - you put grease on. This time it was about having sunscreen on and making sure you didn't get burnt to death."

She said the key to her success was "a positive mental attitude".

Dr Bradshaw is already preparing for her next challenge - in August she will aim to use the butterfly stroke to swim the the length of the River Humber in the north of England.