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, and a documentary on BBC4 this evening will follow a group as they take on the waves - and 18 year old Georgie Halford from Milton Keynes is among those battling the wet stuff.
‘Swim the Channel’, a one-hour programme, tells the story of those who keep Captain Webb’s vision alive – the volunteer coaches and the unlikeliest of athletes who work tirelessly to support 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 chaffing.
The community share their highs and lows both in and out of the water as they train together on a 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.
Swon the Channel airs at 8pm.