Isacescu, Walpurga von
Walpurga von Isacescu (born about 1870), also known as Walburga von Isacescu, was an Austrian swimmer, the first woman athlete to attempt a swim across the English Channel.
Walpurga von Isacescu attempted to swim across the English Channel on 5 September 1900. Unfavorable weather and tides contributed to her failure after ten hours, and twenty miles. She announced plans for another attempt in 1901 and 1903 but these never materialised
Some American papers acclaimed her 1900 swim a success, saying she was taken aboard her boat in the surf off Dover because it was felt too dangerous to swim through the breakers to stand on land
As a member of the First Vienna Amateur Swimming Club, she gave swimming demonstrations and participated in races, as when she raced Australian swimmer Annette Kellermann in the Danube River. She swam the Danube River Race in 1902, from Melk to Vienna, in twelve hours, a record that stood until 1916. “She tows her clothes behind her in a water-tight india rubber case,” one newspaper explained of her weekly swim routine.
Baroness Walpurga was the young widow of a Romanian nobleman when she took up distance swimming. She did not inherit an independent living, but worked as an office clerk at an Austrian railway to support herself