Shortly after 7 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1926, Ederle, smeared with sheep grease, waded into the English Channel at Cape Gris-Nez, France. She could see a red ball on the French shore, a warning to small craft to avoid a sea that promised to be very choppy ... Fourteen hours 31 minutes later, a world record, Ederle reached Kingsdown on the English coast. If she had been able to swim in a straight line, it would have been a 21-mile trip. But the sea was so rough, she swam no less than 35 miles.
Ederle was a symbol of the Roaring 20's, a decade given as much to heroics as to materialism ... Ederle did not sustain the lofty place in history of another hero of the 1920's, Charles A. Lindbergh, who crossed the Atlantic a year after her historic swim, or of the golden athletes who appeared regularly before the public and kept their fame alive. But her feat, which she did only once and under horrendous conditions, made a memorable contribution in an age when many found it difficult to take female athletes seriously.
They had to take Ederle seriously, because she beat the records of the five men who had previously made the swim from 1875 to 1923.More here + here.