Swimming the English Channel will be one of the hardest things you do, but nothing beats the feeling of finally reaching the shore in France after completing one of the world’s toughest open water swimming challenges.  In relay teams of six your job will be to train hard and fundraise, we’ll take care of everything else.

Aspire has been organising Relay Channel swims since 2009, guiding 95 teams successfully to France. That’s well over 500 swimmers, many going on to complete solo crossings and other personal swimming challenges around the world. We can’t guarantee good weather for your crossing, but we can promise a wealth of knowledge and experience to help prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead.

Registrations for 2024 have now closed but please let us know if you would like to join us in 2025:

I'd like to swim the Channel with Aspire

“Without the help of the wonderful people at Aspire, I would not have made it to France with my team. Fact. Aspire assisted me every step of the way.  When I doubted whether I could continue, I was given encouragement, support, advice and guidance. The kindness and support shown to me was incredible, humbling and at times completely overwhelming. If this is in any way indicative of the support that the charity provides to those with spinal cord injuries then this is a truly special and unique charity, one which will now always remain close to my heart.” - Belinda, Team Frogfish, 2018

The Challenge

The Relay Channel Swim covers 22 miles between the UK and France. Completed in teams of six, each swimmer will take it in turn to swim the channel for an hour in rotation, until the team reaches France.  Our teams on average take around 14 hours. Timings and exact distances are estimated and are governed by the weather, tides and currents.

Watch one of our Relay Teams taking on the channel:

What you can expect from us

We have been offering Relay Channel Swims since 2009 and have a strong relationship with the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF). We take care of all the necessary administration, book and organise CS&PF boats, and arrange teams.


We will support you throughout your Channel Swim training and will provide you with a suggested training plan for the winter. We also organise three team training weekends in Dover (including the option of a night swim and taster boat) where you can prepare fully for your swimming challenge and have the opportunity to get to know the other Aspire swimmers. 

Relay channel swim training weekends

What we expect from you

  • Attend our Assessment Day in November where we select our swimmers, ensuring that everyone has a real chance of success.
  • Attend our three team training weekends in Dover (held in May, June and July).
  • Complete all CSPF paperwork promptly and obtain the mandatory medical by the required deadline.
  • Commit fully to training throughout the winter and in the lead up to your Channel Swim.
  • Be available to swim with your team when called.  You will have a given tide but if the conditions are not right this could be delayed.
  • Pledge to raise a minimum amount, ideally exceeding this initial target. Every £1 raised helps Aspire to provide practical help to people paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury.

Testimonials from previous Aspire relay channel swimmers

I'd like to swim the Channel with Aspire

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