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Channeling his energy
Mike Field
September 10, 1979
Until last week, John Kinsella thought the English Channel was for amateurs
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September 10, 1979

Channeling His Energy

Until last week, John Kinsella thought the English Channel was for amateurs

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Jack relayed the message to his son. The news was just the incentive John needed. He told himself the water wasn't cold. He raised his stroke. The water suddenly seemed warmer. (In fact, with the change of wind and the nearness of the French coast, it was several degrees warmer.) Everyone on the boat was shouting encouragement. All Brickell wanted to know was "Can your boy keep strong?" Finally, on the two-way radio from the judges' boat came the cheering words, "Kinsella now leading."

Kinsella started his sprint for home, and a small flotilla of French boats let loose with whistles and sirens. But the race and its hazards were not quite over. As he struck out for Cap Gris-Nez, accompanied by the official race observer in a rowboat, he suddenly realized that to reach shore he had to climb what appeared to be an unclimbable rock. But nothing was going to stop him now, and flinging off his goggles he clambered up the jagged rock, cutting his arms and legs. His time was nine hours and 10 minutes—1� hours short of the record, but 32 minutes ahead of Plit.

A few hours later, back in his hotel room in Dover, Kinsella talked on the phone to his fianc�e, Kathy Kalber, in New York. "Honey, there's good news and bad news," he said. "The bad news—a mile from home Plit was in the lead. The good news—I won!"

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