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Channel Swimming Association Rules

Swim application 'CUT OFF' date

The Secretary is empowered to apply the following scale of additional charges for
applications received after the 30th April, providing that no swim will be permitted until
one calendar month following registration and that the final cut off date for registration is
the 30th June. May £75 June £125 July £200.

a) Artificial Aids:
No person in an attempt to swim the Channel shall use or be assisted by an artificial aid
of any kind, but is permitted to grease the body before a swim, use goggles, wear one
cap, nose clip, ear plugs and one costume.
i) Costume
A 'Standard Swim Costume' (for both sexes) shall be of a material not offering Thermal
Protection or Buoyancy and shall be Sleeveless and Legless:
"Sleeveless" shall mean the Costume must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder
onto the Upper Arm;
"Legless" shall mean that the costume may not extend on to the Upper Leg below the
level of the crotch.
Approved Swimming Costumes
ii) Swim Hat
The hat shall not offer thermal protection or buoyancy.
The Observer will have to approve the Costume and Cap. The Swimmer must make
sure their Costume and cap are of an approved type before starting, as the Swim will
not be recognised if they do not conform.
iii) Light sticks
The swimmer must wear 2 light sticks at night.

b) Recognition: Solo Swims

i) For a Swim to be officially recognised, the swimmer must enter the sea from the shore
of departure and swim across the English Channel.
(*) to finish on dry land, or
(**) to touch steep cliffs of the opposite coast with no sea-water beyond.
(note: Swimmers may finish in harbour water provided they land as in (*), or (**)
ii) For a multiple crossing to be officially recognised, the swimmer must, as soon as his
feet touch the ground, land as directly as possible in accordance with the above b) i).
He must then return immediately to the water, where he may stand or sit for up to 10
minutes. During this time he must not be touched by any person, but may be handed
food, grease, medicines or swimming apparel to be administered by himself.
He must then, in agreement with the Observer, make the most direct and reasonable
way towards water deep enough in which to swim, and commence swimming. In all the
above conditions, the Observer's ruling will be final, subject to official ratification by the
Committee. The time spent before the return swim starts shall be added to the time of
the subsequent crossing.
During a Swim, no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person.

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Channel Swimming Association Rules
c) Ratification
i) The timing of a swim shall start from the moment the swimmer enters the water until
he completes the swim as laid down above.
ii) The appointed Observer shall be in sole charge of the timing of the swim and shall be
responsible for observing compliance with the rules, subject to ratification by the
iii) Every application for recognition of a swim must be accompanied by the Pilot's chart
positions and by the Observer's Report, recording incidents, time, tides, method of
feeding, etc. The Committee may call for additional evidence if they require it.

d) Additional Rules for Relay Teams

i) Relay Teams may consist of two, three, four, five, six persons, or more, one of whom
MUST be a full member - and will be classified accordingly. Team Members' names
shall be given to the Official Observer before the actual commencement of the swim.
Thereafter there shall be NO substitutions, or alteration of classification.
ii) All Relay Team Members must be aged 12 years, or older, on the day the Swim
commences and at least 50% of the Team shall be 16 years old, or older, on the day
the Swim commences.
iia) The CSA resolved on the 5th November 2006 that for teams of less than 6 persons,
all members must be over 16 years of age.
iii) 'Junior' Relay Teams must comprise Six Swimmers aged 12 years or older, on the
day the Swim commences, but under the age of 16 years at the completion of the Swim.
iv) In no circumstances shall more than one team be allowed to make their attempt from
the same Pilot Boat
v) Each swimmer shall swim for one hour each time he/she enters the water.
vi) On receipt of a time signal, a take-over must be made within five minutes of the
ending of the preceding swimmer's leg -and to effect the take-over the new swimmer
shall swim up from behind the preceding swimmer.
vii) Team members shall rotate in the same order throughout the swim.
viii) Pace-making is forbidden in relay swims.

e) Breaststroke, Backstroke or Butterfly Swims

For a swim to be considered as a breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly swim the
swimmer must:
i) Advise the Secretary at least 48 hours before the attempt,
ii) at all times throughout their attempt comply with the definition of that stroke as laid
down by FINA.

f) Additional Rules for Solo Swims

The CSA resolved on the 26th November 2000 that Solo swimmers must be 16 years or
older on the day the swim commences.

g) Special Category Swims Rules Note: Rules as applicable

With appropriate derogation of Rules specifically targeted to meet the needs of persons
with disabilities.

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Channel Swimming Association Rules
h) Non-Standard Channel Swims Rules: Rules as applicable
Carried out with the appropriate derogation of the rules targeted to meet the
requirements of Relay Swims.
i) By those wishing to attempt an unassisted swim with an agreed derogation of the
Standard rules.
ii) By those who become unable (for reasons of prudence) to continue to meet the
requirements of the
Standard Rules but nevertheless complete their crossing, unassisted, by swimming.
As stipulated from time to time by the Board

The general rules of the Channel Swimming Association Ltd shall apply at all

For clarification, at the 2001 AGM it was agreed that:

'Assisted Swims'/Unorthodox Crossings' are not registered by the Channel

Swimming Association.

Assisted swims/Unorthodox Crossings of the Channel

i) Carried out by swimming, utilising a non-standard costume or cap, a thermal
protection aid, a floatation aid, a propulsion aid, e.g. fins, hand paddles etc, or any other
form of assistance.

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