English Channel Rules

Doug McConnell is available for speaking engagements leading up to and following the swim and may be contacted here.  The A Long Swim Facebook page will feature announcements, photos and videos of the swim in real time. 

All of Doug McConnell’s open water marathon swims are done according to English Channel Rules:

Rule #1 dictates what a swimmer can wear during the swim.

  • Anything that would make a swimmer buoyant, fast or, frankly, comfortable, is strictly forbidden – wetsuits NOT allowed.
  • Only a Speedo-style swim suit, a swim cap and goggles.

Rule #2 has to do with the escort boat that will follow her through the swim.

  • When the English Channel rules say “unassisted,” they mean “unassisted.”
  • Swimmers are prohibited from touching the boat or anyone on it; every 30 minutes the swimmer feeds from a drinker bottle that the crew tosses to the swimmer, like a trained seal. 

Rule #3 is that marathon swims must begin and end on dry land.

  • The swimmer must walk into the water, swim across, then walk out of the water.
  • Even for swims that begin and/or end in the dark, the swimmer must follow this rule. 



Nantucket to Martha's Vineyard

The 18 mile swim that has never been done.

In August of 2019 Doug McConnell will swim from Nantucket’s Eel Point to the Edgartown Lighthouse.

A Long Swim has announced a premier open water marathon swim from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard for the scheduled date of August 26, 2019. English Channel Swimmer Doug McConnell will be the first to attempt this swim, and will have the critical support of Martha’s Vineyard boat pilots, navigation experts, and his highly seasoned open water crew that includes two experienced ocean kayakers.

The Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard swim is 18 miles, with some challenges that are specific to that route. Sharks and jellyfish top the list and navigating through tides, currents and shoals will keep the crew on alert the whole expected time of 10 hours.

“I am proud to be the first to attempt crossing the Nantucket Sound to land at the Edgartown Light. Marathon swimming is a team sport, and we’ve traveled the world doing what we do best – swimming in the name of finding a cure to ALS.” There is a Landing Party Reception scheduled at the Harbor View Hotel which overlooks the Edgartown Light. Landing is expected to be at 6:00pm.


Other marathon open water swims – and why!

In addition to the English Channel, McConnell has swum the the Ka’iwi Channel, the Catalina Channel, around the Island of Manhattan, and the length of Tampa Bay. His marathon swims raise funds for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, through the foundation A Long Swim, an IRS-recognized 501(c)3.To date, A Long Swim has raised more than $500,000 for collaborative ALS research at Northwestern University, and ALS patients throughout the world have benefitted from their findings. In part because of A Long Swim’s efforts, the world-class research team at Northwestern is on the brink of important discoveries with announcements coming this summer.

Please donate today by clicking here.