Measuring the distance of the English Channel swim

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1972

The second in our series of video demonstrations of marathon swim route distance measurement in Google Maps tackles the most famous of all marathon swims: the English Channel. Despite its iconic status in the sport, nobody can seem to agree on what, precisely, is the route distance. CSA, CS&PF, MSF, and Wikipedia all have slightly different answers, though most seem to agree it’s about 20 or 21 miles.

Note: MSF and the LongSwims Database use 33km (20.5 statute miles), rounded up from 32.9 km – the straight-line distance between the eastern end of Shakespeare Beach and Cap Gris-Nez.