Christopher Guesdon

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Chris Guesdon received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000
Chris Guesdon's induction into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
Sid Cassidy, Chris Guesdon, Dennis Miller, architects of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the world OWS titles held in Dubai in 2004
Christopher Guesdon of Australia was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honour Administrator in 2009 and currently serves on its board of directors as the Program Vice President. He was the architect of the Olympic 10km Marathon Swim along with Dennis Miller and Sid Cassidy.



Guesdon, the mastermind behind the vision of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim and its inclusion in the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and the 2016 Rio Olympics, has been involved in the sport as a swimmer, event organizer, administrator, technical official, escort, lobbyist, historian and documentarian extraordinaire.

If the world of open water swimming has a man behind the scenes, certainly Guesdon is that man who has been selflessly and passionately devoted to the sport since 1968.

Tireless, fair, relentless and visionary, he has truly contributed to the marathon swimming world.

Open Water Swimming Roles

Guesdon was a FINA-accredited Open Water Swimming Referee 1992-2008 and was the manager of the Australian all conquering Open Water Swimming Team during the period 1991-1996, member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee between 1996 and 2000. He was the referee at the 1998 FINA World Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia and organized the open water events at the 1998 Brisbane Oceania Championships, the 1999 Melbourne Pan Pacific Championships, 2003 Fiji South Pacific Games, 1991-2008 Tasmania Open Water Swimming Championships and the 2007 Darwin Arafura Games as well as lectured at the Argentina International Open Water Swimming Clinic, the Fiji Technical Officials Clinic, the Mombasa, Kenya Technical Officials Clinic. He also competed, refereed, managed swimmers or lectured in Dubai, Hawaii, Suva (Fiji), Cairns, Melbourne, Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Rotorua (New Zealand), Tasmania, Asia Beach Games Bali (Indonesia), SEA Games Jakarta Indonesia, Lac Chibougamau (Canada), Rosario (Argentina), Lac Memphramagog (Canada), Lac St-Jean (Canada), Saguenay River (Canada), Chicoutimi (Canada), Nile river, Suez Canal, Atlantic City (New Jersey), Lake Michigan, Capri-Napoli (Italy), Lake Ontario, Atlanta (Georgia), San Felice and Crotone (Italy), Terracina (Italy), Evian (France), 93K Relay from Malta to Sicily and Lac La Tuque, an epic 24-hour race in Canada. His devotion and knowledge of the sport is unquestioned.

Olympic 10km Marathon Swim

His legacy will be as the architect of - and passionate lobbyist for - the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim which he designed to be acceptable as an Olympic Games marathon swimming event. He initially presented the plan - initially sketched out on a napkin - the idea to the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee in 1998 where it was accepted as the optimal blueprint for the good of the sport globally and ultimately adapted for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. is reach has truly been global with race experiences throughout Oceania, Asia, Africa the Americas and Europe. The success of the current professional marathon world has a solid foundation to continue growth, thanks to the largely unseen, but greatly appreciated, efforts of Guesdon.


The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer and winner of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Davids Wheeler Award leaves a fantastic legacy.

In his home country of Australia, Guesdon was the Secretary of Australian Open Water Swimming Committee 1988-2001, partly for which he received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. He was the founder of the Australian Long Distance Swimming Federation, which he started to lead from Tasmania in 1973, and a bureau member of the International Long Distance Swimming Federation, which existed between its founding in Paris in 1953 until 1974. He co-authored both the comprehensive and authoritative Australian Long Distance and Marathon Swimming Manual and the FINA Long Distance and Marathon Swimming Manual which are both used across the globe.

But he also completely understood the perspective of the athletes. He competed in 20 International marathons across the globe and was crowned Australian Marathon Swimming Champion in 1977 and 1981. He pioneered the Hong Kong Lifeguards Repulse Bay Round Silver Island & Return swim in 1977 (now a FINA 10K World Cup event) and participated in the Daugo Island to Ela Beach Marathon Race (Papua New Guinea), Magnetic Island to Townsville (Aus), Isle of Capri (Italy) Circumnavigation Swim, Lac La Tuque 24-hour relay, an English Channel attempt and a slew of swims throughout Tasmania: 30K New Norfolk to Cadbury Point Swim, Constitution Dock to Kingston Beach Swim, Howrah Beach to Long Beach, Sandy Bay and Montague Bay to Wrest Point Swim and the famous Trans Derwent.

A man of the world and superstar of our sport.

PNG Marathon 1971
Chris Guesdon with the Australian team he took to the USA for the 1995 Pan Pacs championships in Atlanta
Chris Guesdon before the Silver Island Repulse Bay Return in Hong Kong, 1977

Open Water/Marathon Swimming Organisations & Events

Attended the following swims in capacity as Australian competitor or as Australian team manager

Participated as a competitor, organiser, administrator and official

Individual events competed

Events controlled or sanctioned by Swimming Australia/FINA

Team Manager and National Programmer of successful gold medal winning Australian OWS Teams

International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame

FINA Open Water Swimming Clinics

Channel Swimming Association



Articles and reports for publications 1964-1999

Record of Participation 1998-2013

Organisers of the SEA Games 2011
Chris Guesdon running a Swimming Clinic, Fiji, 2006
Chris Guesdon finishing the Hobart to Kingston, 1981



Australian Championships


Tasmanian Championships




Chris Guesdon served as the Safety Delegate for the Lake Toba Festival - World Super Swim in Indonesia.

External links

Personal tools
Annual Recognition
Insurance and Sanctions
OWS Conferences
Race Calendar
Travel & Vacations
Education Programs
About OWP
Courtesy of