How It Works
English Channel, crossing, record, Yves Rossy, 26 September 2008, squirrel suit, Felix Baumgartner, Sir Richards Branson, Sam Branson, kit surf, Matthew Webb, 1875

Record-breaking English Channel crossings

English Channel, crossing, record, Yves Rossy, 26 September 2008, squirrel suit, Felix Baumgartner, Sir Richards Branson, Sam Branson, kit surf, Matthew Webb, 1875

1875

Well, someone had to be first! Matthew Webb was the first person to take to the water and strike out for France. He did it in 21 hours and 45 minutes. The record now stands at six hours 57 minutes and is held by Petar Stoychev.

 

1959

The first ever journey across the Channel by hovercraft took place in 1959. It took just over two hours and was piloted by Captain Peter Lamb.

 

DIGITAL CAMERA2003

You might have heard of Felix Baumgartner thanks to his famous stratospheric jump, but years earlier he cruised over the gap between England and France in a flying squirrel-inspired suit having been dropped from a plane at 30,000 feet.

 

Sir_Richard_Branson_photo_by_Priory_Studios2008

On 26 September 2008, Yves Rossy was released from a plane over France and used a jet powered wing to fly across the Channel and reach Dover. The journey took just under ten minutes.

 

2012

Sir Richard Branson and his son Sam each set a world record 24 hours apart. Branson now holds the title of the oldest person ever to kite surf across the Channel, while Sam is the fastest ever to make the 21-mile crossing.