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About the CSA

1927 In the Beginning

“Means are now being discussed by several men interested in swimming to prevent this fine achievement of swimming the channel from being ruined by the artificial means and lack of investigation, and to ensure that the course from England to France shall be the accepted one. It has been decided to form an Association, namely the “Channel Swimming Association” to draw up a code of rules governing Channel swimming”.

Those wishing to associate themselves with the new movement and form the committee included Mr George Rope, Past President of the ASA, and President of the Otter S.C., Mr. H T Bretton, Past President of the ASA, and England’s representative on the International Swimming Federation, Mr H W Jones, Past President of the ASA, Mr J M Dick and Alfred Jonas (Founder of the Webb Memorial)”. William Burgess, Montague Holbein, Jabez Wolffe and Mr Hughes of the Dover Standard also expressed their willingness to join the committee.

CSA Formation

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.

Some 80 years ago, in 1927, (at a time when less than a dozen swimmers had managed to emulate Captain Matthew Webb's feat), the Channel Swimming Association (the CSA) was founded to authenticate swimmers claims to have swum the English Channel, and to verify crossing times. Since its formation, the CSA (now Ltd.) has been entrusted with the task of observing and authenticating all Cross-Channel Swims in the Strait of Dover
It assists and advises swimmers who intend to make a Channel attempt. It regulates the conduct of such attempts - and aims to further the Sport of Channel Swimming. Over the years it has developed into an Internationally recognised Organisation

Accreditation is accorded only to those Swimmers registered with the Association - whose attempts have been observed by Association Officials - who agree to be bound by the rules of the Association - and who are escorted by Pilots registered with the Association using Vessels registered with the Association.

Such registration is subject to careful scrutiny and is conditional on remaining in compliance with the Association's Rules and `Guidelines to Pilots'. These are regularly updated (taking on board suggestions and advice from HMCG and the French Maritime Authorities) and are accepted by responsible swimmers and Pilots as entirely appropriate to the safe conduct of the Sport.

In 1999 the CSA was instructed by its members to undertake a thorough review and overhaul of its constitution and rules. In accord with legal advice and consistent with the members' contributions, a new constitution was proposed and put to the entire membership for a paper ballot.

The result, by an overwhelming and 'absolute' majority led to the formation of, and transfer of assets to, `Channel Swimming Association Ltd.' a Company limited by guarantee and, to ensure that no financial benefit could accrue to any individual seeking commercial gain, devoid of shareholders. There are other organisations that take part in Channel swimming and their records are available at the Dover Museum.

CSA Structure

President - Michael Read MBE

Vice Presidents - Dr Harry Huffaker, Dr Stanley Paris, Ghislaine Van Vooren, Mervyn Sharp and Joan Metcalfe..

Executive Board Members

Chairman - Peter Van Vooren
Vice Chairman - Clive Burbage
Administrative Secretary - Dr Susan Ractliffe

Day to Day Management

Administrative Secretary - Dr Susan Ractliffe

Board Members

Directors: Michael Read, Fiona Southwell, Marc Newman, Peter May, Chris Sifleet, Howard James, Mervyn Sharp, Enrique Flores and Srikaanth Viswanathan.

Sub Committees and co-opted members as required. All members have direct access to the Administration Secretary who will pass any comments/concerns to any or all members of the Board, as appropriate.

Stroke for Egypt

We are delighted that the Stroke for Egypt Academy has agreed to become our partner in the Middle East & North Africa.

Stroke for Egypt’s Vision:

The Stroke for Egypt Academy (SFEA) with the support of the Channel Swimming Association seeks to promote swimming at every level and across all abilities in the Middle East and North Africa. Both organisations are particularly interested in encouraging disabled swimmers to reach new heights of achievement and success.

The Stroke for Egypt Academy (SFEA) seeks marketing, supervising and ensuring the best representation for the Channel Swimming Association.

The SFEA will confirm the seriousness of swimmers from both the Middle East & North Africa to cross the Channel and will establish Hurghada as the hub to qualify for a safe and successful Channel crossing.

The SFEA is offering the CSA:

  • Ensuring all fees be paid by each and every swimmer.
  • Marketing strategies to increase the number of Middle East & North African swimmers attempting to cross the Channel each year. 40-50 years ago this area was the powerhouse of long distance swimming.
  • Establishing the SFEA in Hurghada as the sole hub to market and supervise aspirants planning a Channel Crossing
  • A permanent headquarters for the Channel Swimming Association for both Middle East & North African swimmers to organize Training and Educational courses and an annual press conference to publically inform the market of the opportunities to swim the English Channel.
  • Headed up by well experienced Khaled Shalaby the SFEA offers a comprehensive plan to train, supervise, monitor, filter and evaluate Channel Crossing applicants giving them the best chance of success, prior to their arrival in Dover.

Want to Swim the Channel?

To get started you must first purchase an information and registration pack.

Buy online

Channel Weather

Latest Observations from Sandettie
21 June 2024, 8pm

  • - Air Temperature: 16.0°C (60.8°F)
  • - Sea Temperature: 15.5°C (59.9°F)
  • - Wind Direction: WSW (247°)
  • - Wind Speed: 21 Knots
  • - Wave Height: 0.5 Metres
  • - Wave Period: 5.0 Seconds

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Guinness World Records