Bristol Channel Swimming Association

From Openwaterpedia
Bristol Channel swim routes

noun - The Bristol Channel Swimming Association (BCSA) is a governing body of the Bristol Channel in the UK that was established in 2021 to ratify and document open water swims across the Bristol Channel. The BCSA also record swims that are not ratified including swims done in a wetsuit.


The Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world, but there are many swimmable routes.


  • The first documented swim across the Bristol Channel was in 1927 when Kathleen Thomas swam from Penarth to Weston-Super-Mare in 7 hours 20 minutes.
  • Over the following 93 years, fewer than 20 more people have crossed.


The mission of the BCSA is to introduce swimming across the Bristol Channel to as many swimmers as possible and ensure all attempts are fully documented and, where applicable, ratified as the swimmer adhered to the channel swim rules and regulations.

Routes & Swimmers

Swansea to Ilfracombe at 25 miles

Glenthorne to Porthcawl at 16 miles

Penarth to Clevedon at 12 miles

Penarth to Weston-Super-Mare at 9 miles

Edith Parnell Crossing



Original Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

Original Triple Crowner List

Edith Parnell Crossing

Edith Parnell in 1929 in 10 hours 15 minutes at the age of 16

External links