The Swim

My channel swim attempt will take place between the 14th and 21st of September 2010. The exact date will be determined by the weather conditions.

As the crow flies the swim is 21 miles long and runs between Shakespeare’s Cliff near Dover to Cap Griz Nez near Calais. However, it is not possible to swim in a straight line across the channel due to the tides and currents so the actual swim could be considerably longer.

The time taken to cross the channel can vary considerably with times ranging from the world record of 7 hours 17 minutes which is held by Chad Hundeby, to the slowest time for a one way crossing of 26 hours 50 minutes.

So why is swimming the Channel particularly difficult?

“The English Channel is a unique and demanding swim, considered by many to be the ultimate long distance challenge. It isn’t just the distance that is the challenge, but more, the variable conditions that you are likely to encounter. These may vary for mirror like conditions to wind force 6 and wave heights in excess of 2 metres. The water is cold, there is a good chance of meeting jellyfish, seaweed and the occasional plank of wood. It is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with 600 tankers passing through and 200 ferries/seacats and other vessels going across daily.” Source

The sea temperature can vary from 14-18 degrees Celsius but as I will be swimming in September it could well be closer to 14 degrees. Needless to say I’m hoping for the warmest conditions! To put this in perspective the normal range of temperature for a leisure centre swimming pool is in the region of 27-30 degrees.