English Channel Swim 2005




Weather & Links



Question: What is the world record?
Answer: The world record for swimming the English Channel was just set on August 1, 2005 by Christof Wandratsch of Germany in 7 hours 3 minutes and 52 seconds. That is going approximately 58.5 seconds per 100 yards for 7 hours straight and that included stopping for feedings every 20 minutes. For a while he was going 3.1 miles per hour. No, the tides do not aid you.

Question: Who swam the Channel first? When was the first female crossing?
a) First Crossing:
Captain Matthew Webb, Great Britain, 1875, 21 hours, 45 minutes. (2nd attempt. Died swimming across the Niagra River eight years later)
b) First Female Crossing:
Gertrude Ederle, United States, 1926, 14 hours, 31 minutes (2nd attempt)

Question: How old do you have to be?
Answer: George Brunstad (Matt Damon’s uncle) became the oldest person to swim across when he crossed last year at age 70. At 57, Carol Sing of the United States became the oldest woman to swim the Channel when she did so in 1999. And in 1988, Mr. Thomas Gregory became the youngest swimmer to cross the Channel at just shy of 12-years-old.

Question: What is the White Horse Inn?
Answer: After completion of an English Channel swim, it is tradition to write your name in the walls of White Horse Inn, a pub in Dover, where patrons like to swap Channel swim stories with those who are making an assault on the shores of France, or have just returned.

Question: Have more people swum the English Channel or summitted Everest?
Answer: About 1500 people have successfully climbed Everest. At the end of 2003 (the last, best accurate counting), the total number of crossings of the English Channel were:
- 972 successful crossings (by a total 656 people)
- 25 2-way crossings
- 3 3-way crossings
- A number of people have swum it more than once. One woman, Alison Streeter, has swum it 43 times and is still counting).

Copyright 2005 by Neal Rayner. All Rights Reserved.