Young Woman And The Sea

The new film telling the extraordinary true story of Trudy Ederle, the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel

Disney Enterprises

Films about swimming, it would seem, are like buses. You wait ages for one and then three come along at the same time – all emblazoned with ‘Inspirational Female Swimmer!’ banners. Less than 12 months after the release of Nyad and Vindication Swim comes Disney’s Young Woman and the Sea and it too shines a light on a little known, but hugely pioneering swimmer. This time we follow the story of Gertrude ‘Trudy’ Ederle who, nearly a hundred years ago, fought tooth and nail against extreme societal prejudice and less than friendly officials in a male-dominated sport  to carve her name into the history books as the first woman to swim the English Channel and become known as the ‘Queen of the Waves’.

Daisy Ridley turns in a gutsy performance as Ederle, (as well as taking an Exec Producer role – so keen was she in bringing the story to screen), and she has an impressive supporting cast of lovable heroes (her family, her feisty female coach, and Bill Burgess, the second man to swim the channel) as well as rascally villains (Jabez Wolffe, a man so embittered by Channel swim failure he actively tries to sabotage Ederle’s success and James Sullivan, the chairman of the US Olympic Committee who believes that women should not swim). 

The fact that Ederle became a world record holder for swimming at only age 12 is astonishing enough, but that she then went on to hold 29 national and world records prior to her Channel swims is jaw-dropping. Young Woman and the Sea is an uplifting, inspirational  testimony to an incredible athlete. Be careful – it may just have you reaching for your goose fat and goggles.

  • Young Woman and the Sea is released in cinemas on 31st May 2024, view the trailer here.
Disney Enterprises
Simon Kerslake