Route maps of swims.
Here are the route maps of all my Channel swims so far. There’s only so much that you can get from them but they does show how the tides effect the swimmer and you can see the inevitable ‘S’ shape that any swim will take. The tidal flow in the Dover Strait is complex but changes direction approximately every six hours pushing the swimmer a long way off the direct route.
As I’ve pointed out elsewhere you really have no idea of this as a swimmer until you see the map after the swim. The flow is very strong near the French coast and is probably what makes the Channel such a hard and unique challenge. A seven knot tide sweeping past Cap Gris Nez can take an exhausted swimmer, who is only a couple of miles off France, more than ten miles further east before they are able to swim ashore near Calais. This of course adds many hours on to a swim and leads to that ‘eternal hour’ or last mile that can seem to take forever as you move along parallel to the land, which you feel you could almost reach out and touch. I’ve been on boats as a helper and seen land that appeared to be about an hour’s swimming distance away and been told by a pilot, who had seen it all over the years, that it would be at least another five hours before the swimmer had any chance of making it.
1. 1997 Swim Map. 29th of July 1997.
Swim time: 11 hours 57 mins. Start time: 07.11. Finish time: 19.08. HW Dover 07.35. Tide: 5.6 metres. Helpers: Angus, Devashishu and Rodney. Observer: Tony Miller.
2. 2000 Swim Map. 21st of July 2000.
Swim time: 14 hours 52 minutes. Start time: 02.36. Finish time: 17.28. HW Dover 02.32. 6.1 metres. Helpers: Devashishu, Sahadeva and Trishakash Observer: Mick Austen
3. 2001 Swim Map. 15th of August 2001.
Swim time: 12 hours 49 minutes. Start time: 07.38 Finish time: 20.27 Helper: Tyagambar Ramos.
4. 2002 Swim Map. 5th of August 20o2
Swim time: 10 hours 53 minutes. Start time: 08.49. Finish time:19.42. HW Dover: 09.04. Tide: 5.4m Helpers: Devashishu, Aghada and Tyagambar.
5. 2003 Swim Map. 13th of August 2003.
Swim time: 16 hours 05 mins. Start time: 04.10. Finish time: 19.15. HW Dover 03.52 Tide: 6.2 metres. Helpers: Devashishu and Gangane. Observer: Brian Harbottle
Swim time: 16 hours 13 mins. Start time: 07.42. Finish time: 23.55 HW Dover: 08.30. Tide: 5.6 metres. Helpers: Dave and Nidhana. Observers: Mick Austen and Brian Harbottle.
7. 2005 Swim Map. 16th of July 2005
Swim time: 13 hours 28 mins. Start time: 06.25. Finish time: 19.53. HW Dover:06.24 Tide: 5.4 metres. Helpers: Sanjaya, Uranta and Aryavan.
8. 2006 Swim Map. 24th of July 2006
Swim time: 16 hours 18 mins. Start time: 07.22 Finish time: 23.40. HW Dover 11.31. 6.1 metres. Observer: Mike Austen
9. 2008 Swim Map. 29th of August 2008
Swim time: 14 hours 54 minutes. Start time: 09.00. Finish time: 23.54. HW Dover 10.57. Tide: 6.3 metres. Helper: Angel Observer: Robin Hawkins.
10. 2009 Swim Map. 13th of August 2009.
Swim time: 16 hours 49 mins. Start time: 01.56am. Finish time: 1846. HW Dover 03.43am. 6.1 metres. Helper: Sankalpa Observer: Kevin Murphy.