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Channel Swimming Association Statement on the ‘Queen of the Channel*’ Award

Posted on: 22nd October 2022

The Channel Swimming Association has for over 40 years been proud to award the title of Queen of the Channel• to female swimmers who have completed more successful swims of the English Channel, swimming under CSA rules, than any other. The CSA believes it is vital to provide recognition to the amazing women who undertake one of the most difficult swims in the world.

The award is designed to recognise the impressive achievement of setting a new world record for swimming the Channel. The current record holder has swum the Channel a remarkable 43 times (incidentally, 10 more times than any male CSA swimmer). She is only the sixth woman to hold the title. Achievement is the only criterion we consider when making the award.

Alongside the title ‘Queen of the Channel• ’; record holders also receive a trophy in the form of a bust of Captain Matthew Webb. A comparable trophy is also given to male swimmers who achieve the title King of the Channel• . Webb was the first person to swim the English Channel unaided in 1875. The CSA has awarded the Captain Webb trophy for over 40 years. That is since 1976 and the award has been warmly received and respected in all that time by both male and female swimmers.

The purpose of awarding the trophy is to recognise the exemplary conduct of the recipient, in emulation of Webb’s own achievement in being the first person to swim the English Channel unaided. Webb was a truly great athlete and set an inspirational example to swimmers, male and female alike, the world over. By awarding this trophy to the Queen of the Channel• ; we are comparing that individual’s achievements to the first person to achieve the remarkable feat of swimming the Channel without assistance. Webb’s sex/gender is irrelevant – the C.S.A. award his trophy to honour the very best channel swimmers of today by comparing them to a hero of the sport.