Captain WebbCaptain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel on 24th August 1875.
Webb swam breast stroke and completed the crossing in 21 hours 45 minutes smeared in porpoise fat and fuelled by beef tea.
"Nothing Great Is Easy"
Captain Matthew Webb (1848 - 1883)
Channel RulesMatthew Webb’s achievement in 1875 set the standard and inspires swimmers to this day.
In order for a successful swim to be ratified swimmers must not be assisted by artificial aids of any kind such as wetsuits or floats.
Swimmers may wear only a hat, goggles and costume and are not permitted to touch another person during the course of their attempt.
Today Channel swims can be officially ratified by two organisations, The Channel Swimming Association and the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation.