From Openwaterpedia
The English Channel
White Cliffs of Dover and the Strait of Dover as seen from Cap Griz Nez, France
White Cliffs of Dover

noun - EC is an acronym for the English Channel frequently used verbally and in writing among open water swimmers, especially channel swimmers and marathon swimmers.

English Channel Distance

Swimmers who swim across the English Channel are credited with swimming 18.2 nautical miles (or 20.94 miles or 33.7 km from Shakespeare Beach, Dover, England to Cap Gris Nez, France which is the shortest straight-line tangent between England and France.


The women completed her dream, a swim across the EC.

English Channel

The EC is often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about 560 km (350 mi) long and varies in width from 240 km (150 mi) at its widest, to only 33.7 km (20.9 4 miles) in the Strait of Dover. It is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi).

Marathon swimmers challenge themselves to swim between Dover, England to Cap Gris Nez, France. The famous waterway is part of the Oceans Seven and is considered to be the most prestigious marathon swim in the world. Solo and relay crossings are governed by two organizations: the Channel Swimming Association and the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation.

The Strait of Dover, at the Channel's eastern end is also its narrowest point, while its widest point lies between Lyme Bay and the Gulf of Saint Malo near the midpoint of the waterway. It is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 120 m (390 ft) at its widest part, reducing to a depth of about 45 m (148 ft) between Dover and Calais. From there eastwards the adjoining North Sea continues to shallow to about 26 m (85 ft) in the Broad Fourteens where it lies over the watershed of the former land bridge between East Anglia and the Low Countries. It reaches a maximum depth of 180 m (590 ft) in the submerged valley of Hurds Deep, 30 mi (48 km) west-northwest of Guernsey. The eastern region along the French coast between Cherbourg and the mouth of the Seine river at Le Havre is frequently referred to as the Bay of the Seine (French: Baie de Seine).

Several major islands are situated in the Channel, the most notable being the Isle of Wight off the English coast and the British Crown Dependencies the Channel Islands off the coast of France. The Isles of Scilly off the far southwest coast of England are not generally counted as being in the Channel. The coastline, particularly on the French shore, is deeply indented; several small islands close to the coastline, including Chausey and Mont Saint-Michel, are within French jurisdiction. The Cotentin Peninsula in France juts out into the Channel, and the Isle of Wight creates a small parallel channel known as the Solent in English waters. The Celtic Sea is to the west of the Channel.

Oceans Seven

The English Channel is part of the Oceans Seven, a global 7-channel challenge that consists of the following 7 waterways around the world. It was first proposed by Steven Munatones in June 2008 and first achieved by Stephen Redmond of Ireland in July 2012:

1. North Channel between Ireland and Scotland
2. Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand
3. Molokai Channel between Oahu and Molokai Islands in Hawaii
4. English Channel between England and France
5. Catalina Channel between Santa Catalina Island and then Southern California mainland
6. Tsugaru Channel between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan
7. Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa

Video of the English Channel

The EC (English Channel) is not always this way, but Donal Buckley captured Dover Harbour on a particularly rough day in September 2011:


English Channel, Oceanus Britannicus (original name), La Manche (French), ドーバー海峡 (Japanese), Mor Breizh (Breton), Mor Bretannek (Cornish), Canal da Mancha (Portuguese)

Top 10 English Channel Crossings

1. 6:55 by Trent Grimsey, Australia, E-F in September 2012
2. 6:57 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2007
3. 7:03 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2005
4. 7:05 by Yuri Kudinov, Russia, E-F in August 2007
5. 7:16 by Vitek Rostislav, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2009
6. 7:17 by Chad Hundeby, USA, E-F in September 1994
7. 7:20 by Christof Wandratsch, Germany, E-F in August 2003
8. 7:21 by Petar Stoychev, Bulgaria, E-F in August 2006
9. 7:22 by David Meca, Spain, E-F in August 2005
10. 7:25 by Yvetta Hlavacova, Czech Republic, E-F in August 2006

External links