General Questions & Answers

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General Questions & Answers

Q. Who are the CS&PF

The Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation, CS&PF, are a recognised governing body of English Channel Swimming. They are registered as an organisation that can help to arrange and observe English Channel Swims, register pilots & pilot boats (that are suitable qualified) and appoint official observers to acompany and record swims. Successful swims are then ratified by the CS&PF committee and enter into the records.

The CS&PF is registered with the English & French Coastguards. They are an affiliated group within the ASA (Amateur Swimming association), a member of the CCPR (Central Council of Physical Recreation) and have recognition from UK Sport, the UK government organisation.. Their operations manual has been approved, and they have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the MCA (Marine Coastguard Agency).

Q. How will my swim be organised, recognised and recorded?
A. All this can be carried out by the CS&PF

The Federation will help you find a pilot and put a recognised observer onboard your pilot vessel to observe your swim. All swims are then checked, ratified if successful and entered on the "Swim" database. Successful swims and relays are also recorded on this web site -- see "Swimlist" pages. These pages contain successful swims which have been ratified by the organisations and are recognised by the CS&PF. They are free to anyone who wishes to access the site and are set out in three styles. -- By Name -- By Year -- By time. These lists are the only full lists available to the public at this time. We can usually sort any queries from the office database and e-mail your answers providing you have a means of reading MS works pages. (We do reserve the right to choose what is included in the reply).

Q. What is the period when the English Channel can be swum?

A. The swim period is usually between the 1st of July and the 30th September every year but it might be extended a week or two either side of these dates depending on the Tides, weather and water temperature. There is a list of swim periods on this site for 2001 & 2002 -- see "News" pages. By tradition most swims take place on NEAP tides but LOW SPRINGS are slowly becoming popular. (see FAQ page Q.2 & Navigation pages).

Q. Will my/our swim be properly recognised?
All ratified swims are recognised and added to our official list. This list is available from our web sites and in printed form. The web sites are free and open to anyone to view. The CS&PF recognise all swims carried out under official supervision and ratified. If your swim has been carried out outside the scope of the CS&PF and is not already in our list please contact the Federation with the information and evidence so that it may be considered for inclusion.

Q. What do I need to do to swim under the CS&PF rules.
There are a number of requirements for you to forefill before you can swim under the Federation flag.
You must fill in an application for and pay registration / swim and membership fees
You must show proof of at least a 6 hour open water swim in water of 60°F (16°C) or less or have completed in one of the accepted qualifying swim - such as Manhattan - Catalina Channel - Around Jersey (Channel Isles) swim - etc.
You must complete the CS&PF medical forms (or acceptable alternative) within the year of your swim - that's after the 1st January of that year.
You must arrange and book a pilot. The pilot must be registered with the CS&PF and the Coastguard services. Have in-date commercial qualifications acceptable by the CS&PF and the other relevant authorities. . The pilot vessel must have a commercial registration acceptable for the duties undertaken. The pilot swim contract is a personal contract between you and the pilot. The CS&PF have no involvement in these agreements.

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