Fourth Time’s the Charm for Paulk!

courtney paulk
Courtney Paulk in the English Channel.

On 3 August 2021, Courtney Paulk completed a double crossing of the English Channel in 27:36 (unofficial time, pending ratification by the CS&PF).

Paulk succeeded in this double-crossing after three previous unsuccessful attempts. But this achievement has been long-awaited, as it completes her goal of being the first swimmer to complete doubles of all the Triple Crown swims. As such, Paulk can now claim to be the first swimmer to “Double the Triple.” 

Paulk completed a double crossing of the Catalina Channel on 12 October 2017 and finished a two-loop circumnavigation of Manhattan Island, aka the 40 Bridges event offered by New York Open Water, on 29 July 2017. 

Paulk is an attorney based in Richmond, Virginia, with a lengthy history of marathon swims backing this most recent success. She has also completed four solo, one-way crossings of the English Channel and two solo, one-way crossings of the Catalina Channel. On 2 September 2014, she set the record for the fastest crossing of Cape Cod Bay, a 19-mile swim from Plymouth to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 9:43:47. (That record was lowered by Eliza Cummings in 2016.)

Paulk is also a veteran of many open water races including the Boston Light Swim, the Ederle Swim in New York, the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in Maryland, and the SCAR Swim Challenge in Arizona.

Elaine K. Howley