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In cooperation with Losch Luxembourg, we regularly present women who have a very special impact on Luxembourg society, either through their professional careers or simply through their personal stories.
The Luxembourgish extreme sportswoman Paule Kremer wanted to spend this August in sunny California to swim the Santa Catalina Strait. However, she had to put her plans on hold at short notice due to the pandemic. After initial disappointment, she simply postponed her challenge until next year and decided to use the summer months to clear her head a little and look after herself. Her summer was then sweetened by a generous offer from Losch Luxembourg. Cube4T8, the youngest company in the Losch Group, which is fully dedicated to the development of new mobility solutions, provided Paule with the zippy Silence S02 electric scooter as a test vehicle. An offer that the young athlete gladly accept.
In her colourfully patterned jumpsuit, Paule now rides through the narrow, romantic alleys of the Grund district in the capital. It is not only her cheerful outfit that turns the heads of passers-by, because the Silence S02 with its strikingly modern design also attracts quite a few curious glances. In addition to its spacy appearance, the e-scooter is characterised above all by its excellent manoeuvrability as well as its enormous stability, which is due to its low centre of gravity. These features make it perfect for exciting rides, especially in urban areas. In any case, Paule feels really comfortable and safe, despite the fact that the young swimmer has actually hardly ever ridden a scooter before.
…how it all began
In 2017, Paule Kremer became the first Luxembourger to swim the English Channel between England and France. In the middle of the night, she swam from Dover to the French village of Wissant almost 33 kilometres away, arriving an incredible 14 hours later. The following night she could hardly sleep because of the pain in her whole body and even the simplest tasks like washing her hair were no longer possible without the help of her boyfriend.
But how does one actually get the idea to swim the English Channel? Interestingly, Paule Kremer came to sport relatively late in life. It was only during her studies in the English coastal city of Brighton that Paule began to do sport regularly and intensively. She first joined a running club at university before developing an interest in triathlon. Through triathlon, she then discovered her passion for swimming. In 2016, she was offered the chance to swim the English Channel in a relay and was so excited that she decided to take on the challenge solo the following year.
Ocean's Seven, a life project
For Paule, the solo crossing of the English Channel was the starting point for an even bigger challenge: the Ocean's Seven. This is an international challenge in which experienced swimmers must swim across seven more or less wide straits on five continents. Specifically, these are the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, the Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain, the Kaiwi Channel in Hawaii, the Tsugaru Strait in Japan, the English Channel between England and France, and the Santa Catalina Channel in California.
Actually, Paule intended to accomplish one strait per year. But after the covid-related break, she has decided to turn Ocean's Seven into a life project, without setting herself a specific deadline. She hopes to tackle Santa Catalina and Gibraltar next year. For Japan and Hawaii, she is still looking for sponsors who would like to support her in the journey and in the preparation. But until then, the ambitious young woman is enjoying her time at home and can hardly wait to go exploring with her new e-scooter.
The Silence brand now offers three different models for private and business users: the S01, S02 and the S03. In the new models, the high-performance lithium-ion battery can be completely removed. Depending on the performance, the Silence models are equipped with three different driving modes: City, Sport and ECO. Each model also has a practical reverse gear.
Sharing and delivery services, the post office and even the police in many large and small cities already use the practical S02 in their daily service. The model is available either with a simple seat for up to two people or as a "Delivery" version with space for a big transport case. The maximum payload is an impressive 330 kilograms.
What goes through your head in the middle of the ocean? Paule can't really answer that question. “I think it's like giving birth. In retrospect, you've forgotten most of it.” In any case, Paule can't remember any negative feelings. She was not afraid nor panicked at any time. Fortunately, the swimmer had prepared herself very well mentally for the challenge. Through hypnosis she had learned to stay in a constant flow. Today, she works with a sports psychologist and uses techniques that help her not to constantly question herself. It is incredibly important not to start doubting yourself at any point during such an extreme challenge.
In addition, it is of course helpful that she is never completely alone during the challenges but is constantly accompanied by a boat with experienced fishermen – the so-called pilots, who constantly keep an eye on the weather and the currents – and acquaintances. A member of the Marathon Swimmers' Federation is also there to check whether Paule is following the rules.
Of course, the swimmer is aware that some dangers can lurk on the open sea, such as sharks and orcas in California. But Paule is not afraid. Instead, she has even more respect for the sea creatures and their home. Fortunately, swimmers are rarely attacked by animals. In Hawaii, a swimmer was bitten by a cookie cutter shark some time ago and had to be stitched up. However, the injuries were not life-threatening.
In the English Channel, Paule only encountered a few jellyfish, one of which swam straight into her swimming costume. She then tried to fumble the slimy little animal out and of course it hurt. But this pain was a blessing in disguise because it distracted her for a while and, without her noticing, a whole hour had suddenly passed.
What one encounters in large quantities in the English Channel, however, is rubbish of all kinds. Plastic bags and even entire Euro pallets float around in the sea en masse and pose a real danger to both the animals and the swimmers.
That’s why Paule is pleased that she can now do her part for a cleaner environment with the Silence S02. The S02 is 100% emission-free and thus a clear commitment to sustainability. Her 50cc “lowspeed” model can be driven with an ordinary driver's licence and has a range of up to 149 km. The top speed of this model is 45 km/h, which is quite enough for Paule.
"Sharing and delivery services, the post office and even the police in many large and small cities already use the practical S02 in their daily service."
For those who prefer to ride a little faster, the S02 is also available as a 125cc “high-speed” model, which can reach up to 90 km/h and is equipped with a 5.6 kWh battery. You need a special motorbike licence to ride this one, though.
All for a good cause
The Santa Catalina Strait between Santa Catalina Island and Los Angeles was supposed to be on Paule’s schedule in 2020. Because of the pandemic, Paule came up with an alternative. Instead of swimming the 33 kilometres in California, she simply covered the same distance in the Upper Sûre reservoir near Lultzhausen. And she made an event out of it. 52 people took on this challenge together with Paule and collected no less than 7,000 Euros for a good cause.
With her challenges, Paule supports a charitable organisation that is very close to her heart: the Plooschterprojet. Yannick Lieners, a good friend of Paule's and also a Luxembourg athlete, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014 and set up the Plooschterprojet as a result. Paule is now doing everything she can to make people aware of this organisation and its mission. She is not only interested in raising money, but also in informing people about the different ways to help and how easy it can be to save someone's life by donating stem cells, blood or organs.
Paule does not have a professional sports career in mind like Yannick Lieners. For her, sport should remain a way to switch off and she doesn't want to lose the fun in it. Competitive sports like triathlon are also not for her, because she finds it all the more exciting to find out how far she can push herself without having to compete with others.
When she's not swimming, Paule is an English professor at the Lycée Ermesinde in Mersch. There she shares her passion with the students by teaching the optional subject of swimming on the side.
And for the journey from her home near Lorentzweiler to her workplace, the Silence S02 couldn't be better suited. “When you own a car, it often becomes a habit to use it at every opportunity”, Paule knows. Since she got the Silence S02, she hardly ever drives her car. The e-scooter is just insanely practical for shorter distances and of course when it comes to finding a parking space. Just like in the city centre. In the meantime, Paule has made herself comfortable on the terrace of a café to take a short break. She’s constantly connected to the e-scooter with her smartphone. From a distance, she can call up the exact location or the battery charge status, for example. And even during the ride, the smartphone is perfectly stowed away in a specially designed compartment with a double USB charging port.
Paule scrolls through the photos on her mobile phone. Suddenly a picture of a 45-year-old VW Camper appears on her screen. She grins because she will be driving it to Croatia for the next few weeks. Now it's time to switch off before hopefully heading off to California next year.