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The English Channel crosses the Straits of Dover, leaving from English South West coast around Dover and finishing on the French Coast in the vicinity of Calais.


The Sport of Channel Swimming traces its origins to the latter part of the 19th Century when Captain Matthew Webb made the first observed and unassisted swim across the Strait of Dover swimming from England to France in 21 hours and 45 minutes.

To date, the fastest crossing is 6 hours 57 minutes, the slowest is 28 hours 44 minutes and the average time is 13 hours


Swims usually start at or near Shakespeare’s Cliff or Samphire Hoe (in between Folkestone and Dover), and aim to finish at or near Cap Gris Nez (between Boulogne and Calais).

View The English Channel: Shakespeare Cliff to Cap Griz-Nez in a larger map

Dates & Timelines

Group 1: 1  – 9 July 2012

Group 2: 20 – 26 July 2012


7 member team comprised of trained cold-water open-water swimmers.

Each swimmer will be accompanied by a boat and experienced channel crossing pilot and backup team.

Group 1

Cameron Bellamy
Sam Wells

Group 2

Mike Sutton


Cameron completed the swim in 16 hours and 29 minutes.

Sam and Mike were pulled out of the water after swimming for over 13 hours each.