Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation: Rules and Regulations for an Official Crossing

Taken from the Channel Swimming Association website:

“No person in an attempt to swim the Channel shall use or be assisted by an artificial aid of any kind, but is permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles, wear one cap, nose clip, ear plugs and one costume.“

“(A swim costume aka swim suit) shall be of a material not offering Thermal Protection or Buoyancy and shall be Sleeveless and Legless: “”Sleeveless”” shall mean the Costume must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the Upper Arm; “”Legless”” shall mean that the costume may not extend on to the Upper Leg below the level of the crotch.” So, no wetsuits.

“(Swim Cap) The hat shall not offer thermal protection or buoyancy. The Observer will have to approve the costume and cap. The Swimmer must make sure their costume and cap are of an approved type before starting, as the swim will not be recognized if they do not conform.”

“(For the swim to be official) The swimmer must enter the sea from the shore of departure and swim across the English Channel. (*) to finish on dry land, or (**) to touch steep cliffs of the opposite coast with no sea-water beyond. (Note: Swimmers may finish in harbor water provided they land as in (*), or (**) PLEASE ACCEPT THAT THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE”

“During the swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person. “ All drinks/necessary items will be handed to me via pole extended from the boat. 

“The appointed observer shall be in sole charge of the timing of the swim and shall be responsible for observing compliance with the rules, subject to ratification by the Committee.“

“Swimmers need to be aware that you may be requested to undertake a drug test at any time up until 24 hours after your swim.“

Answers to more specific questions:

-A boat will be accompanying me, and it is a large boat– no paddle boats!!!

Kim is coming to England and will be on the boat too!

-No sharks in the Channel, but many jellyfish!

-I am anticipating the swim will take between 12-16 hours.

-The window during which we might swim is between August 17-24th, however we will be getting there earlier to train and adjust to the time difference.

-I am not allowed to touch the boat at any time or take a break.

-I will do blog posts while I’m away 🙂

Thank you all so much for your support and encouraging words! This blog has been a lot of fun thus far, and being able to receive messages from friends and family has given me so much motivation during my training sessions!


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