Yvetta Tulip Hlaváčová (born 26 May 1975) is a Czech national open water swimming team member and the women’s world record holder in the English Channel with a time of 7 hours 25 minutes. At 194 cm (6 foot 4 inches), she is one of the tallest competitive swimmers in the world and holds a Guinness World Record for having the longest legs in the world at 1 meter 26 centimeters.
Open Water Swimming Career Highlights
- She won two medals in the European open water swimming championships (silver in the 5 km and bronze in the 25 km).
- She crossed the 33.5 km English Channel in 2005 in 8 hours 42 minutes at the age of 30 with escort pilot Reg Brickell
- She crossed the 33.5 km English Channel in 2006 in 7 hours 25 minutes 15 seconds which set the women's record at the age of 31 with escort pilot Michael Oram
- She crossed the 33.5 km English Channel in 2007 in 7 hours 53 minutes at the age of 32 with escort pilot Reg Brickell
- She completed two Vlata River stage swims for charity:
- swimming downstream in 2007 for 138.7 km in 7 consecutive days.
- swimming upstream in 2008 for 142.4 km in 35 km hours 2 minutes over 7 consecutive days with water temperatures down to 8.3°C.
- She competed for 9 years on the FINA World Cup professional marathon swimming circuit.
- Over 25 FINA World Championships events, she finished on the podium for 8 of the races.
- Winner of the 2002 10 km FINA World Cup in Alexandria, Egypt
- Tapes in Brazil in 1997, 26 km, 2nd place
- 10 km FINA World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2004, 2nd place
- FINA World Cup in Ohrid, Macedonia in 2004, 30 km, 3rd place
- FINA World Cup in Ohrid, Macedonia in 2005, 30 km, 3rd place
- FINA World Cup in Santa Fe Coronado, Argentina in 2005, 57 km, 3rd place
- FINA World Cup (Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli from Capri to Napoli, Italy in 2005, 36 km, 3rd place
- FINA World Cup in Bohinj, Slovenia in 2001, 10 km, 3rd place
- In the 2002 FINA World Cup 10 km race in Egypt, she won beating IMSHOF Honor Swimmers Britta Kamrau and Angela Maurer.
- She swam marathon races in 20 countries.
- She earned 25 km team bronze medal in the 2002 FINA World Championships.
- She earned 25 km team bronze medal in the 2004 FINA World Championships.
- She won a silver medal in the 1991 European Championship 5 km race.
- Over the course of her career, she won 82 Czech national titles and 9 medals in FINA Swimming World Cup (freestyle, butterfly and individual medley in Brazil in 1998) and set 3 European masters swimming records.
- After 1996, most of her travel and all training were self-funded and self-organized.
Fastest English Channel Crossings in History
1. 6:55 by Trent Grimsey, Australia, E-F in September 2012
2. 6:57 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2007
3. 7:03 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2005
4. 7:05 by Yuri Kudinov, Russia, E-F in August 2007
5. 7:16 by Vitek Rostislav, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2009
6. 7:17 by Chad Hundeby, USA, E-F in September 1994
7. 7:20 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2003
8. 7:21 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2006
9. 7:22 by David Meca, Spain, E-F in August 2005
10. 7:25 by Yvetta Hlavacova, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2006
11. 7:40 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, E-F in July 1978
Videos and Interviews
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Virtual Ceremonies, Celebrating the Class of 2021
- Compete and Cheer, But Don't Converse and Coordinate?!?
- How Far Is The English Channel?
- Champions, Adventurers, Record Holders, Endurers And Supporters In The Hall Of Fame
- International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame Class Of 2021
- Yvetta Hlaváčová Honored By The International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame
- Yvetta Hlaváčová website
- The Perfect Open Water Woman
- The Perfect Open Water Man
- Records in Catalina Channel vs. English Channel
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- What's A Woman To Do In The Open Water?
- Wearing Make-up In The Open Water
- The Perfect Female Open Water Swimmer
- Marathon Swimming
- World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation
- The Perfect Ideal Of A Female Swimmer
- Catalina Channel vs English Channel, Which Is Faster?
- A Great Czech List