Documentary which tells the story of the volunteer coaches and the unlikeliest of athletes who they tirelessly support in their dream to swim from England to France.
In 1875, Captain Matthew Webb – with little more than some brandy, beer, and beef tea to keep him going – became the first man to successfully swim from England to France. Since then more people have conquered Everest than successfully swum across the Channel. To this day, it remains the ultimate open water swimming challenge. This documentary tells the story of those who keep Captain Webb’s vision alive – the volunteer coaches and the unlikeliest of athletes who they tirelessly support in their dream to swim from England to France. The rules are simple – no physical aids, no wimp/wet suits, just a swimsuit, goggles, the all-important swimming cap, and a spot of grease to stop the chafing. At the heart of the community are pensioners Freda, Irene, and Barry. They can be found in Dover every weekend from May to September come rain or shine, ready to train, feed and grease the wannabe Channel swimmers. The swimmers do not take on this arduous journey alone and also rely on the skill of the pilots who navigate them safely to the other side of the busiest shipping lane in the world. The community shares their highs and lows both in and out of the water as they train together on this small stretch of pebbled beach shadowed by the ferry port. Feasting on jelly babies, and fuelled by adrenalin and dreams, the modern-day swimmer continues to risk it all in this, the ultimate challenge of man versus nature.