Bootlegging the English Channel

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited May 2012 in General Discussion
Splitting the following two comments from the rash guard discussion. Thought it was worthy of a new thread.


  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited May 2012
    no one sanctioned Webb.
    No, but he was accompanied by numerous observers and journalists to document what occurred. For the majority of us not famous enough to attract media interest, sanctioning bodies and volunteer observers help ensure the safety and integrity of the sport.

    An EC swim is technically an international border crossing, so I'd think bootleggers would be likely to be picked up one of the coast guards.
  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Mem​ber
    I get it, Evmo, and I'm not criticizing sanctioning bodies, but you don't need them to swim, if you want to use a rash guard or whatever. For the EC you could still hire an escort boat that I assume registers with the coast guard because of the channel traffic, but the EU is an open border, n'est pas? As long as your right with the coast guard, you don't have to have the sanctioning body's approval, but you won't be official. No certificate for you! You can walk or drive acoss the borders of any member nations without a passport. You could swim across the Mosel from Luxembourg to Germany no problem. I rode my bike over the bridges. Kramer swam the Hudson without NYC Swims approval. In a wetsuit! Wikipedia says East River, but Tom's Diner and Seinfeld are upper west side. Why would he go cross town to swim? Maybe we need a new thread?
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    For the EC you could still hire an escort boat that I assume registers with the coast guard because of the channel traffic, but the EU is an open border, n'est pas? As long as your right with the coast guard, you don't have to have the sanctioning body's approval
    From the CS&PF site:

    Except for the CS&PF and the CSA, the Maritime Prefect of the Channel and the North Sea expressly forbids swimming and associated activity of an unorthodox nature within the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme, and within French territorial waters. The sole events excluded from the prohibition are those Cross Channel swimming attempts organised and approved by: the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation (CS&PF) and the CSA.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    While it is possible to swim the EC in non-traditional attire (wetsuit) it still must go through one of the orgs (and I believe CS&PF is the only game in town for that) that has coast guard permission and permits to escort swimmers.
    Without permits, my guess is you would certainly be run over by a ferry... and the remaining bits of your corpse would be placed on public display somewhere near Dover Harbor. The Channel Swimmers discussion forumites would continue to insult your family for a minimum of 6 generations.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandCharter Member
    edited May 2012
    I think there are two separate issues:

    1. Technical/practical
    2. Recognition.

    DB & Evmo point out the legal aspects. I could be wrong but I thought the last attempt at a bootlegged swim in the 90s ended in death (in which the case the swimmer was completely unsupported).

    Apart from the difficulties of doing it with a pilot/boat who would be risking imprisonment and losing licence, and wouldn't have the requisite knowledge, (but let's assume you could find an idiot Channel fisherman to get you across, and you had perfect conditions (probably necessary in the light of no-one knowing what they were doing), and luck, and both coast guards, and ferries and cargo traffic and Channel Traffic Control (unlike other Channels there actually is one, because the Channel is so busy) all ignore your illegal crossing (you know about mandatory boat transponders, right?), and you make it... and you don't get arrested...then what?

    Without a sanctioned swim, no-one will believe you. I wouldn't. "You swam the EC by yourself? Yeah. Right". I'd put you in the loon category.

    Sanctioning is actually the lynchpin to everything we do, as DB points out, to ensure the integrity and honesty of everyone.

    DB & evmo know (off forum) the long story of a claimed bootleg swim of the North Channel a few years ago, where someone (well known in the swimming community here) claimed they kept going from Scotland (with a pilot) on a training swim. No-one believes it, they are not counted amongst the roll of North Channel swimmers and in fact the person is now believed to be a wilful liar who no longer has anything to do with swimming and who threatened the very foundation of our sport.

    Proof is everything.

  • GarbageBargeGarbageBarge NY (Hudson Valley)Mem​ber
    Sorry. I meant a thread for which river Kramer swam! Hudson, right? :) I'm not advocating bootleg channel swims.
    Anyway, my point was, if you're more interested in sun protection than "official" recognition, swim your solo swim anyway you want. Of course be safe and legal, and of course most people here will want to be official. Now what about a Manhattan bootleg? A Kramer bootleg!
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