The English Channel is approximately 19 nautical miles (38000 yards) or 35 kilometres (35000 metres) wide at its narrowest point (Shakespeare Beach, Dover to Cap Gris Nez, France) and is a unique and demanding swim, considered by many to be the ultimate long distance challenge.
Swimmers can encounter variable conditions ranging from Force 6 wind, wave heights in excess of 2 metres and strong tides.
The English Channel is also one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with 600 tankers passing through and 200 ferries/seacats and other vessels crossing daily. The success rate each season is usually less than 50% for solo swims.
How long can it take?
This is very much depends upon weather and sea conditions. The fastest swim was done in just over 7 hours and the slowest took nearly 27 hours.
For more information on the history of Channel swimming please take a look at the Channel Swimming Dover Website.
If your interested in Channel swimming please visit either the Channel Swimming Association or the CSPF website for details as all channel swims must be conducted through them.