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World's Top 100 Open Water Swims

World's Top 100 Open Water Swims

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Published by Steven Munatones
A list of the world's top 100 open water swims.
A list of the world's top 100 open water swims.

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Published by: Steven Munatones on Mar 15, 2011
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08/07/2011

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Open Water Source
 
World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims
The world has more than 3,600 sanctioned open water swims in at least 162 countries – andthe sport is growing like never before - and usually under the radar of national governingbodies and the mass media.But here is a subjective list of some of the world's greatest, most popular and challengingopen water swims. Enjoy.1.
• Location: Sun Moon Lake (Jih Yueh Tan in Taiwanese) in central Taiwan.• Course: A mass participation cross-lake swim with up to 22,000 participants.• Distance: 3.3K• Date: August• Description: The world’s largest mass participation open water swimming event has differentstart groups for individuals of all ages and abilities.• Additional Information: The attracts between 18,500 and 22,000 (maximum limit) swimmersto a beautifully tranquil lake at 760 meters (2,493 feet) in altitude, including an increasingnumber of foreign athletes.2.
• Location: Midmar Damin Kwazulu Natal in South Africa (one-hour drive from Durban).• Course: Straight point-to-point race across Midmar Dam.• Distance: 1 mile• Date: Second Sunday weekend in February• Description: The world’s largest competitive open water swimming event also has anassociated a series of qualification swims throughout South Africa.• Additional Information: Attracts swimmers of all ages and abilities, ranging from Olympicmedalists to swimmers between the ages of 5 and 83. The event has recently attracted morethan 17,000 entrants, a huge increase from the inaugural event in 1974 when 153 swimmersraced across the dam for the first time. Due to the large number of entrants, the swimmersare separated into 8 different races; each race is divided into 5 batches separated by 3-minute intervals; each batch wears a different colored cap to distinguish their batch. A chiptiming system was introduced in 2008 to record accurate times for each participant.3.
• Location: Vansbro in central Sweden• Course: River swim under the six bridges of Vansbro.• Distance: 3K• Date: July• Description: Over 4,000 swimmers participate in the largest open water swim in northernEurope Vansbrosimningen with another 2,250 women participating in the 1K Tjeisimmet (racefor women only).• Additional Information: Envisioned in 1950 with 10 swimmers in the first attempt,Vansbrosimningen became a national race in 1956 and has been growing ever since,
Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Sourcep.
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Open Water Source
 
www.openwatersource.comespecially when the “En Svensk Klassiker” was added in 1972. Over the past 53 years, onewoman, Margareta Rylander, was the fastest overall finisher.4.
• Location: Sea of Galilee i(the Kinneret) in northern Israel.• Course: An extremely popular mass participation swim.• Distance: 4K• Date: October • Description: A mass participation event, the largest in the Middle East that can get rough if winds come up.• Additional Information: Attracts over 6,000 swimmers of all ages and abilities, an incredible0.1% of the entire population in Israel. The swim was first held in 1944, two years beforeIsrael was formed, and has continued nearly uninterrupted ever since.5.
• Location: picturesque Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England, in the Lake District.• Course: a 1-mile in-and-out-and-in course in a flat, scenic, but cold, lake.• Distance: 1 mile• Date: September • Description: A very competitive race with several Olympic swimmers as well as the largestmass participation open water swim in Great Britain. Separate start for elite swimmers. Racerequires swimmers to exit the water at the halfway mark for a run over timing mats in order toentertain the television audience.• Additional Information: A 2-day open water swimming extravaganza that will draw up to20,000 in its third year. Wetsuits are acceptable. Part of the British Gas Great Swim Seriesthat includes the British Gas East Swim, the British Gas Great London Swim and the BritishGas Great Scottish Swim.6.
• Location: Istanbul Strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara in Turkey.• Course: From Meis to Kas in a narrow channel.• Distance: 6.5K• Date: July• Description: Organized by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey and started in 1989with 68 swimmers, the Bosphorus has recently grown to 4,892 swimmers from dozens of countries – see photo on page 1• Additional Information: Bosphorus is the world’s most narrow strait used for internationalnavigation and enables participants to claim they swam between Asia and Europe.7.
• Location: Lorne, Australia.• Course: Fast pier-to-beach swim.• Distance: 1.2K• Date: January• Description: Mixed field of swimmers with an average time of 22 minutes.• Additional Information: Started as a challenge between lifeguards in 1981 when 100 people
Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Sourcep.
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Open Water Source
 
www.openwatersource.comentered the first race. The race is now capped at 4,300 participants and is known as a verysuccessful charity event.8.
• Location: From Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island, near Perth, in Western Australia.• Course: A challenging and extremely popular channel swim with over 750 support boats.• Distance: 19.2K• Date: February• Description: Strong currents, abundant marine life, water temperature averages 21-22°C(69.8-71.6°F)• Additional Information: Attracts swimmers between the ages of 14 to 72. The RottnestChannel Swim informally began in 1987 when four men in their forties, sustained by water and bread, swam the channel. The following year, 12 people made the swim. By 2006, anonline entry process was introduced where the number of entries for 2- and 4-person teamsand solo swimmers was open for 7 days, attracting 3,910 entries. An electronic random ballotwas then conducted to determine which 2,300 swimmers would participate. Solo swimmersreceive an automatic entry; solo entries close on November 30th. Entries open the firstworking day in November and are only open for 7 days.9.
• Location: Manly Beach in Australia.• Course: Ocean course• Distance: 1K Novice Challenge and 2K• Date: January• Description: Started in 1983 with 101 swimmers with the Waikiki Roughwater Swim as aninitial inspiration, the Cole Classic has grown to nearly 3,000 swimmers.• Additional Information: Also an online fundraising opportunity through EveryDay Hero.10.
• Location: La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California, U.S.A., just north of San Diego.• Course: Beach start and finish in and around the cold-water La Jolla Cove, which is anatural amphitheater for ocean swims.• Distance: 250 yards, 1 mile and the 3-mile Gatorman Swim• Date: September • Description: Multi-distance event where many of the most accomplished open water swimmers from across the western American states compete. Marine life and kelp areabundant. Water clarity is among the best along the West Coast. Water temperature can be inthe low 60°F’s.• Additional Information: Started in 1916, it is billed as America’s Premier Rough Water Swimand nicknamed The Big Wet One. Event started in 1916 when 7 men swam 1.7 miles in thebeautiful La Jolla Cove. By 1925, 8 men and 11 women swam the race. By 1950, 105swimmers entered. In 1984, over 1,000 swimmers entered. In 2008, 2,297 swimmersparticipated, but since 1999, a limit was placed on the number of swimmers in order tomaintain the high standards of the organizing committee.
Copyright © 2010 by Open Water Sourcep.
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