Channel Swimmers
Once a year a group of men and women meet at Dover on the English coast, awaiting the best moment to make their latest attempt to swim this dangerous stretch of water. All of them are aware of the record for swiftest crossing, made by Chad Hundeby--seven hours, 17 minutes--in 1994, and none is more aware than Christoph Wandratsch, the nominal focus of Jörg Adolph's film.
Director: Jörg Adolph
Producer: Caligari Film
Country of Origin: Germany
Language: English, deustch.
Runtime: 92 min
Tecnology: Video
Year: 2004
Cast: Christoph Wandratsch
Crew: Writer: Jörg Adolph Camera: Luigi Falorni Sound: Jörg Adolph Editing: Anja Pohl Music: The Notwist, Console
More about the plot: The English Channel is the most frequented waterway of the world. Each day more than 500 ships cross its 33 kilometres – sailboats, barges and ferries. And then there are a handful of people who consider the Channel their own personal Mount Everest. Once a year this group of men and women meet at the Dover harbour, awaiting the best moment to swim the Channel. And come to think of it: More people have managed to reach the peak of Mount Everest than swimmers have reached the French side of the Channel. Out of 6000 attempts just 500 have succeeded. In 1994 Chad Hundby set the record in a time of 7 hours and 17 minutes. Christoph Wandratsch is the leading German long distance swimmer. In 2003 he set out to break Hundby’s record. The film accompanies him and two other protagonists on their long fight against manifold obstacles. Coated in grease to keep warm, they struggle with the extreme pressure of the water, the unpredictable tides, and minor problems such as huge layers of seaweed and jelly fish floating through the water. Channel Swimmers is a gripping film about the idea, the history and the dangers of swimming the Channel.