Rupert Allhusen My name is Rupert Allhusen and I'll be 40 years old when I swim the channel in August 2020. I have enjoyed all sports since I could walk and hold a ball and have always enjoyed swimming ever since my first pair of armbands.

Sport, especially rugby, was massive for me during my schools day, but coming from Devon the ocean was never too far away and always somewhere I loved visiting for a paddle at first and then later on as I grew up somewhere to swim and explore. I'm not sure during these days I ever considered swimming the channel, far too big!

After school and while at Brunel University, I joined Richmond Rugby Club and have played for them since 1999, earning over 150 1st XV caps and most recently touring with the Richmond Heavies to Argentina before my swim training stepped up over the past 12 months.

Following a 4 year teaching career, I spent a year studying at Oxford University earning a Rugby blue in 2007 before embarking on a career in the Insurance industry.

I work in the London Insurance market for the White Bear Group after more than 10 years with Talbot Underwriting in Lloyd’s of London.

Over the past 10 years, mainly since hanging up the rugby boots and having had a family, swimming has become my focus and turning from a prop forward to a long distance swimmer has been fair easy which comes as quite a shock to some!

I became involved with all the annual outdoor swimming societies open water swim events from the Dart10K, to the Bantham Swoosh 6K and also the Hurly Burly 10K up in Snowdonia. Over these years my times have improved and so too has the number of people I have roped into joining my love of swimming. Please note that these open water events aren't competitive but being a true sportsman the competition is often with yourself.

I think it was around 2016 I started to harbour the desire to swim the channel but the dream has only really presented itself in the last 12 months and I've taken it on and am thoroughly looking forward to it!

Please visit my website at www.iamswimmingthechannel.com where you can find more information about my swim!


Since Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the channel in 1875 fewer than 2000 people have completed the 20.7 miles. Far fewer than have climbed Mount Everest to the summit. The shortest distance is between Shakespeare Beach just west of Dover docks and Cap Gris Nez west of Calais but swimmers must cover far more than that as changing tides will sweep them first one way and then the other during their crossing resulting in an S shaped course. So although I will start at Shakespeare Beach, I have no idea where in France I will land!

Swimmers are accompanied by a pilot boat, mine skippered by Mike Oram, which watches out for the 600 freighters, tankers and 200 ferries which pass through the Straits of Dover each day making it one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Other hazards are the strength of the tides, waves and weather.

The Temperature - Between July and September the sea temperature usually ranges from 14°C to 18°C but has been known to drop to 6°C. You must complete a 6 hour swim in similar conditions beforehand. I plan to do that 10 times from a hopefully improving sea temperature of 13°C on the 7th June!

The Rules - For your swim to be recognised by the Cross Channel Swimming Association these are the rules.

You must start and finish on dry land; you must use no artificial aid; only wear goggles, a cap, nose clips, ear plugs and a sleeveless and armless costume. Additional insulation, traditionally goose fat, can be applied! You must not touch another human being or the boat. Food may be passed to you from the boat on a long pole. If you come straight home you do not need a passport! The record time is 7 hours. One poor chap was swept so far off course by the tide that he ended up swimming 65 miles, but he did get there! Rupert Allhusen