How Fast Do You Have To Be?

How Fast Do You Have To Be?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

If a person wanted to break Trent Grimsey‘s record across the English Channel of 6 hours 55 minutes or the 1990 relay record of 6 hours 52 minutes by Americans Jay Wilkerson, Chad Hundeby, Martha Jahn, Karen Burton, Dirk Bouma, and Sid Cassidy from England to France, how fast would they have to swim from England to France?

The straight-line distance to cover across the English Channel is 18.2 nautical miles or 20.9 statute miles or about 33,700 meters if a swimmer swam a beeline and hit Cap Gris Nez, France straight on.

A solo swimmer or relay members would have to swim at a speed at least equal to 4,814 meters per mile. Even swimming a steady 1 minute 20 second pace per 100 meters, inclusive of all feeding breaks and any misdirection due to currents, tides, eddies or surface turbulence, a swimmer would only cover 4,500 meters per hour. They would have to find at least an extra 314 meters to break 7 hours.

A swimmer individually or a team collectively would have to swim faster than 1 minute 14 seconds per 100 meters for nearly 7 hours straight in order to set an English Channel record.

Fast, blazing fast.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones