Swim Information 2023

Page revised 23 July 2023

We have the following swim slots available

When replying please include the following information or we will move onto the next request

  • Solo or Relay
  • Skin or Wetsuit
  • Swim tide window
  • Where you will be travelling from (Country). The weather can be very unpredictable so you should aim to be ready to swim one week before and after to give you the maximum chance of a great day

Below are some guidelines to help you through the booking process with us “Ellis Marine Services” on board our pilot vessel “High Hopes” and your CS&PF or KCSC swim application.

Pilot booking & Contract:

The cost for a solo / relay, 1-way swim for the 2023 season is £3,200

Payment structure as follows:

Booking Fee – £300Paid within two weeks after contract issued to secure a swim slot
Deposit – £1,200No later than 1 April 2023
Return of contractNo later than 1 April 2022
Balance – £1,700Up to and including day of swim
(cleared funds in account or GBP cash on day of swim)

The cost for solo / relay, 2-way swims are double all above pay structure

If requesting a booking of a 2-way swim, evidence must be provided of a 1-way successful channel swim first

It is important that you READ & UNDERSTAND your channel swim pilot contract which will be sent once you have chosen a swim date & slot and clarify what you are agreeing to before you (and any team members) sign as this is a legally binding document. The terms and conditions are on page 2 of the pilot’s contract.

We will notify the CS&PF or the KCSC office the first week of January 2023, depending on type of swim you wish to undertake and that your swim reservation is confirmed (booking fee, contract returned & deposit paid)  they will then contact you by email with your 2023 application form.

Channel Swimming & Pilot Federation

Before you start to complete the paperwork, please READ THE CS&PF RULES and information on the CS&PF web site: www.cspf.co.uk .

You can only get the 2023 CS&PF application and medical forms from the CS&PF office and you can only use the forms sent to you which are specific to the year of your swim. This is so that the CS&PF office can regulate and track the swim reservations. Check the CS&PF web site for the latest arrangements for registration.

Kent Coastal Swimming Challenges

If you wish an attempt to swim the English Channel while wearing a wetsuit, please let us know so the swim can be registered through KCSC (www.kentcoastalswimmingchallenges.com) to gain permission by the British & French authorities. 

You can only get the 2023 KCSC application and medical forms from the KCSC office and you can only use the forms sent to you which are specific to the year of your swim. This is so that the KCSC office can regulate and track the swim reservations.

Over the last couple of years, we are noticing international swimmers arriving in the UK the evening before their tide window opens and / or departing Dover the early hours the day after their tide window closes. This has greatly impacted on their chances of making an English Channel swim due to Jet lag, lack of acclimatization to sea / air temperature, travel plans, accommodation and the biggest being swims getting delayed due to the unpredictable weather conditions of the English Channel and then expecting their swim to be deferred to the following year.

This is not expectable, and we will not defer any swim to the following year

UK swimmers need to be flexible and we can discuss travel times

We are very keen to meet you all before your swim. When you arrive in Dover give us a call, we normally get together on board “High Hopes” or on the beach in Dover to have a chat, answer any questions and have a look around “High Hopes” so the day of the swim all feels familiar. Just to let all swimmers know there is a very high chance you will be swimming in the dark at some point of your channel swim.

Be prepared – be successful..

Notes reference – Booking Priority, swimming and our system

Below are some explanations and answers to the most frequently asked questions? We have added them to help swimmers who want to try and understand what happens, when and why.

Booking Priority

Our system for booking priority is –

  • 2 solo places are booked per set of Neap tides.
  • 2 relay places are booked per set of Spring tides.

The first swimmer/team on the tide is/are offered the chance to swim, if they say no we will offer the place to the next in line, on the next good swim day available we start with the first in line again and offer the swim to the swimmers in priority until the position is accepted. This system means that the slot 1 person can choose the day they want to swim on but if they decline to swim other swimmers get the option offered to them.

If a swimmer is offered a chance to swim and turns it down but is then unable to swim later because of the weather or other reasons they will have forfeited their full swim fee. 

NOTE: We reserve the right to

  1. Move a slot (Solo or relay) to allow international swimmers the chance to swim if the tide window is affected by weather
  2. Move a relay swim to another slot on the same tide if we feel that the window would be better suited to a solo swim