1981 American Charles Chapman is 1st black to swim English Channel

Charlie Dover

On 25 August 1981, Charles Chapman, AKA Charlie the Tuna, became the first black swimmer to complete a solo crossing of the English Channel. Forty years on, there are still massive barriers to participation and a yawing disparity in participation rates for black and brown people at all levels of swimming.

On August 25, 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel. It was a history-making event of epic proportions and helped birth a new sport – marathon swimming