World's Top 100 Open Water Swims

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noun - The World's Top 100 Open Water Swims is an annual list of the most competitive, popular, unique and entertaining open water swims around the world. The list is compiled annually by Open Water Source.

He set out to do all of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims as part of his bucket list after he turned 50 years old.

2012-2013 World Top 100 Open Water Swim List

1. Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival
• Location: Sun Moon Lake (Jih Yueh Tan in Taiwanese) in central Taiwan
• Course: A mass participation cross-lake swim with over 27,000 participants of all backgrounds
• Distance: 3.3 km
• Date: August
• Description: The world’s largest mass participation open water swimming event has different start groups for individuals of all ages and abilities
• Additional Information: The attracts over 27,000 swimmers to a beautifully tranquil lake at 760 meters (2,493 feet) in altitude, including an increasing number of foreign athletes. The participants can stop at any time on floating pontoons and take flotation devices to prevent disasters.
• Website: Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival

2. aQuellé Midmar Mile
• 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: World’s largest competitive open water swimming event also has an associated a series of qualification swims throughout South Africa
• Additional Information: Attracts swimmers of all ages and abilities, ranging from Olympic medalists to swimmers between the ages of 5 and 83. The event has recently attracted more than 17,000 entrants, a huge increase from the inaugural event in 1974 when 153 swimmers raced across the dam for the first time. Due to the large number of entrants, the swimmers are 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 chip timing system was introduced in 2008 to record accurate times for each participant.
• Website: Midmar Mile

3. Vansbrosimningen
• Location: Vansbro in central Sweden
• Course: River swim under the six bridges of Vansbro
• Distance: 3 km
• Date: July
• Description: Over 4,000 swimmers participate in the largest open water swim in northern Europe Vansbrosimningen with another 2,250 women participating in the 1 km Tjeisimmet (race for 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, especially when the “En Svensk Klassiker” was added in 1972. Over the past 53 years, one woman, Margareta Rylander, was the fastest overall finisher.
• Website: Vansbrosimningen

4. State Capital Classic - New Zealand Ocean Swim Series
• Location: Oriental Bay, New Zealand
• Course: Part of a nationwide series of televised, safe and competitive open water swims held on stunning beaches and major waterways
• Distance: 0.7 km and 2.8 km
• Date: January. Series is held from November to March
• Description: Five-part series includes Harbour Crossing Auckland, Paihia Classic Bay of Islands, Capital Classic Wellington, La Grande Swim Akaroa, Sand to Surf Mt Maunganui, and King of the Bay North Shore.
• Additional Information: Very well-marketed series has introduced and incorporated many event innovations including OceanKids. Most swimmers wear wetsuits.
• Website: New Zealand Ocean Swim Series

5. British Gas Great North Swim
• 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 largest mass participation open water swim in Great Britain. Separate start for elite swimmers. Race requires swimmers to exit the water at the halfway mark for a run over timing mats in order to entertain the television audience.
• Additional Information: A 2-day open water swimming extravaganza that will draw up to 20,000 in its third year. Wetsuits are acceptable. Part of the British Gas Great Swim Series that includes the British Gas East Swim, the British Gas Great London Swim, the British Gas Great Manchester Swim, and the British Gas Great Scottish Swim.
• Website: British Gas Great Swim

6. Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim (Boğazıçi Kitalararasi Yarislari)
• Location: Istanbul Strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara in Turkey
• Course: From Kanlica on the Asian side of the Bosphorus to Kuruçesme on the European side of the Bosphorus
• Distance: 6.5 km
• Date: July
• Description: Organized by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey and started in 1989 with 68 swimmers, the Bosphorus has recently grown to 4,892 swimmers from dozens of countries
• Additional Information: Bosphorus is the world’s most narrow strait used for international navigation and enables participants to claim they swam between Asia and Europe
• Website: Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swim 2010

7. Descenso a Nado de la Ria de Navia (Navia’s Downstream Swim)
• Location: River Navia in Spain
• Course: Swim downstream in a picturesque river
• Distance: 1.1 km (under 12 years old), 1.7 km (13-15 years old), 3 km (women), 5 km (men)
• Date: August
• Description: Started in 1958 when 14 swimmers swam 1 kilometer in a coastal village in Asturias, Galicia in northern Spain
• Additional Information: Also serves as an official leg of the LEN Open Water Swimming Cup that attracts the top swimmers throughout Europe
• Website: Descenso a Nado de la Ria de Navia

8. Rottnest Channel Swim
• 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: 19.2 km
• 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 Rottnest Channel 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, an online entry process was introduced where the number of entries for 2- and 4-person teams and solo swimmers was open for 7 days, attracting 3,910 entries. An electronic random ballot was then conducted to determine which 2,300 swimmers would participate. Solo swimmers receive an automatic entry; solo entries close on November 30th. Entries open the first working day in November and are only open for 7 days.
• Website: Rottnest Channel Swim

9. Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean
• Location: Lac St-Jean, Roberval, Québec, Canada
• Course: A crossing of a cold-water lake from Peribonka to Roberval, Québec
• Distance: 10 km and 32 km
• Date: July
• Description: One of the world’s most prestigious professional races with a long and rich history. Thousands line the banks to greet the swimmers at the finish. Water temperature and winds can very, but water temperature under 20°C (68°F) is expected. Offers US$40,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit that always attracts the world’s best professional marathon swimmers.
• Additional Information: The FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup and an amateur 10 km marathon swim are also held. Elite professional marathon swimmers also compete in eight 1.25 km loops in Lac St Jean for US$20,000 in prize money.
• Website: Traversée Internationale du lac St-Jean

10. Rei e Rainha do Mar Desafio (King and Queen of the Sea Challenge)
• Location: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Course: rectangular loop course in one of the world’s most famous beaches
• Distance: 2 km for amateurs, 7 km for professionals
• Date: December
• Description: Televised live throughout Brazil with numerous cameras all over the course, including aerial footage. • Additional Information: Over 2,000 amateurs and some of the fastest professional marathon swimmers on the planet compete on a loop course near the 2016 Rio Olympics open water course. Gigantic turn buoy, live music and a festive ambiance at the start and finish create one of the world's best open water swimming extravaganzas.
• Website: Rei e Rainha do Mar Desafio

11. Cole Classic
• Location: Manly Beach in Australia
• Course: Ocean course
• Distance: 1 km Novice Challenge and 2 km
• Date: January
• Description: Started in 1983 with 101 swimmers with the Waikiki Roughwater Swim as an initial inspiration, the Cole Classic has grown to nearly 3,000 swimmers
• Additional Information: Also an online fundraising opportunity through EveryDay Hero
• Website: Cole Classic

12. International Challenge of Swimming Across The Yangtze River
• Location: Wuhan, China
• Course: Cross-river course
• Distance: 1.8 km
• Date: July
• Description: Started in 1934 with 44 swimmers, the International Challenge of Swimming Across The Yangtze River has grown to international proportions with the largest cash prize money in the world
• Additional Information: Prize money for the top 20 finishers: US$10,000 for first, US$6,000 for second, US$3,000 for third, US$1,000 for finishers fourth to tenth, US$500 for finishers eleventh to sixteenth winners with the money paid in Chinese RMB.
• Article: International Challenge of Swimming Across The Yangtze River

13. Xstrata Nickel Swim Thru Perth
• Location: Perth, Australia
• Course: Picturesque Swam River, finishing in Matilda Bay
• Distance: 2.2 km and 4 km kilometers.
• Date: January.
• Description: A great community event that attracts a wide mix of swimmers of all abilities and ages ranging from 10 to 83 years old
• Additional Information: Oldest open water swimming race in Australia with over a 90-year history that serves as a fund-raiser to the Paraplegic-Quadriplegic Association of Western Australia
• Website: Xstrata Nickel Swim Thru Perth

14. Bonaire EcoSwim
• Location: Dutch Caribbean Island of Bonaire in the Netherland Antilles, 50 miles north of Venezuela, 30 miles from Curacao and 86 miles east of Aruba, outside of the hurricane belt
• Course: start and finish at Captain Don's Habitat dock, along the coast of Bonaire. Water stops are available for the 5 km and 10 km races
• Distance: Kid’s pier-to-pier swim, 1 km (with and without fins), 2 km x 2-person relay, 3 km (with and without fins), 5 km, 10 km swims
• Date: December
• Description: Swim over pristine coral reefs amid beautiful marine life in crystal-clear warm waters
• Additional Information: Scuba Diving Magazine (January 2008 issue) rated Bonaire #1 as the world’s Top Dive Destination and Top Marine Life
• Website: Bonaire EcoSwim

15. Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS)
• Location: New York City, U.S.A.
• Course: Complete counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Manhattan Island, starting and finishing near Wall Street in view of the Statue of Liberty
• Distance: 28.5 miles (45.8 km)
• Date: June
• Description: Field is limited to 25 solo swimmers and 18 relay teams that start and finish at Battery Park City. Fields sells out in less than 45 minutes. Race first held in 1927. Substantial surface chop and strong tidal pull are possible. Water temperature varies between 17 – 19°C (64 – 67°F). Course may also include random jetsam and flotsam. A Qualifying Swim must be completed before application will be accepted.
• Additional Information: This is the premier event of the NYC Swim that also conducts 8 other open water events and has attracted nearly 10,000 participants in more than 110 events, including 2,200 swimmers annually to the 1.3-mile Lady Liberty Swim in May, the 1-mile Park to Park Swim in June, the 2-mile Governors Island Swim in June that always sells out, the 1.5-kilometer Riverside Park Tune Up Swim in July, the 1-kilometer Brooklyn Bridge Swim in September that always sells out, 5.85-mile Little Red Lighthouse Swim in September, and the 17.5-mile Ederle Swim in October that always sells out.
• Website: Manhattan Island Marathon Swim

16. Balaton Átúszás
• Location: Lake Balaton in Hungary
• Course: A cross lake swim from the port of Révfülöp to the Platan beach in Balatonboglár
• Distance: 5.2 km
• Date: July
• Description: A beautiful, warm-water swim with over 7,000 participants from one shore to the other in the "Hungarian Sea"
• Additional Information: There are continuous starts from 8 am - 2 pm and a free ferry ride back from the finish to the start after the race. Website provides information in Hungarian, German and English. The event has several partner events.
• Website: Balaton Átúszás

17. Pingvallasund Swim
• Location: Lake National Park in Iceland
• Course: Lake Pingvellir, the largest natural lake in Iceland
• Distance: 5 km
• Date: July (midnight starting time)
• Description: Despite the 11°C water temperature, wetsuits are not allowed
• Website: Pingvallasund Swim

18. English Channel
• Location: channel between England and France with the narrowest point being in the Strait of Dover between Dover, England and Calais, France
• Course: a relatively narrow international channel with strong, but manageable, currents
• Distance: 34 km (21 miles)
• Date: Solo and relay swims generally attempted between June and October
• Description: the world’s most famous channel crossing for swimmers with nearly 1,000 successful swimmers to date
• Additional Information: Considered to be the standard for channel crossing with the rules and traditions with significantly influence in the global open water swimming community. Most famous channel swim crossing in the world with two recognized governing bodies, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and the Channel Swimming Association.
• • Websites: Channel Swimming Association and Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation

19. Catalina Channel
• Location: Deep-water channel between Santa Catalina Island and San Pedro on the Los Angeles coastline in California, USA.
• Course: A potentially rough water course with tidal flows and marine life including dolphins, sharks, whales and jellyfish.
• Distance: 20.2 miles (32.5 km)
• Date: Solo and relay swims generally attempted during from June to October although year-round attempts have been made
• Description: Swimmers are escorted by experienced pilots and kayakers or paddle boarders
• Additional Information: Deep-water channel with patches of cold water. First crossed in 1927.
• Website: Catalina Channel

20. Flowers Sea Swim
• Location: In the pristine waters of Seven-Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea
• Course: Point-to-point, in-the-water finish in relatively shallow, but incredibly clear waters
• Distance: 1 mile
• Date: June
• Description: Described as the world’s flattest and fastest ocean mile
• Additional Information: Over 800 swimmers participate in the race in addition to the 400+ individuals who participated in the Walk-and-Watch event along the tropical beach. Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association’s Open Water Sea Swim annual series also includes the Zulu 2–mile sea swim in October, Cable & Wireless 800-meter Swim in April, Cayman Brac 800-meter Swim in April, Butterfield Bank 800-meter in May, CUC 800-meter in October, the Pirate’s Week 5K in November and the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association 10 km in November.
• Website: Flowers Sea Swim

21. Beach-to-Beach Power Swim
• Location: Maho/Cinnamon/Trunk/Hawksnest on St. John in U.S. Virgin Islands
• Course: 3 separate courses starting from the same beach: 1-mile swim to Cinnamon Bay, 2.25-mile swim to Trunk Bay or 3.5-mile swim to Hawksnest Bay
• Distance: 1 mile, 2¼ miles and 3½ mile
• Date: May
• Description: Swimmers compete as an individual or as part of a 3-person team. Some swimmers also compete in the "assisted" category using snorkel and/or fins.
• Additional Information: Hosted by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park
• Website: Beach-to-Beach Power Swim

22. St. Croix Coral Reef Swim
• Location: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
• Course: From Buck Island, an underwater coral reef park, to The Buccaneer, a luxury destination resort on St. Croix’s east end
• Distance: 2 miles, 5 miles
• Date: October
• Description: Spectacular blue water is home to the largest island barrier coral reef in the Caribbean, endangered fish species, starfish and many green and hawksbill sea turtles
• Additional Information: Described by many participants as a fantastic swim with the most pristine water they have ever seen. Proceeds are donated to The Nature Conservancy
• Website: St. Croix Coral Reef Swim

23. Maratona Aquática Internacional de Santos (International Aquatic Marathon of Saints)
• Location: Santos, Brazil
• Course: Ocean course with occasionally rough water off Boqueiro Beach of Santos
• Distance: 1 km, 2 km, 4 km, 10 km
• Date: January
• Description: Very competitive professional marathon swim that attracts top swimmers from around the world to the FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup race which is preceded by popular 1 km, 2 km, 4 km races
• Additional Information: Offers US$20,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup circuit
• Website: Maratona Aquática Internacional de Santos

24. FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup in Isla Cozumel
• Location: Isla Cozumel, Mexico
• Course: Tropical ocean course with occasionally rough water when winds come up
• Distance: 10 km
• Date: April
• Description: The 10 km race consists of eight 1.25 km loops against some tremendously strong currents and tidal flow. Small jellyfish can appear. A very competitive marathon swim that attracts some of the best swimmers from around the world.
• Additional Information: Offers US$20,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup pro circuit. Only swimmers from recognized National Federations affiliated with FINA are eligible to participate. Entry forms must be signed by appropriate National Federation executive. It is also site of the 15 km FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix event a week later.
• Article: The Colors of Cozumel

25. Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog
• Location: Magog, Québec, Canada
• Course: Amateur: 5 km loop course. Professional: 34 km out-and-back course in lac Memphrémagog.
• Distance: 5 km, 34 km
• Date: August
• Description: A week of activities culminates in one of the longest professional marathon swims in the world in a gorgeous lake setting
• Additional Information: Professional swimmers are escorted by hundreds of watercraft and thousands of spectators at the end of the race. Amateur swimmers also participate in shorter races as a festival runs all week in celebration of the event. Water conditions are generally outstanding with the water temperature is between 66 – 70°F (18 – 22°C).
• Website: Traversée Internationale du lac Memphrémagog

26. Maratón Acuático Rio Coronda
• Location: Santa Fe, Argentina
• Course: Swim down the River Coronda with many currents and eddies
• Distance: 57 km (35.4 miles)
• Date: February
• Description: A very competitive and tactical race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world
• Additional Information: Offers US$11,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit
• Website: Maratón Acuático Rio Coronda

27. Trans Tahoe Relay
• Location: Lake Tahoe, bordering the states of Nevada and California in the western U.S.A.
• Course: From Sand Harbor Beach in Nevada to Skylandia Beach, Lake Forest, California at 6,200-foot altitude
• Distance: 11.5 miles
• Date: July
• Description: 6-person relay that brings in many accomplished pool and open water swimmers including world open water swimming champions, FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix pro swimmers, and NCAA and Olympic Trial qualifiers and top masters swimmers from dozens of states and countries
• Additional Information: It is a cold-water (12.7 – 15.5C° or 55 – 60°F), clear-water event that requires a high level of physical fitness. Now in its 32nd year, the popular and prestigious relay race is the only swim race that crosses two state lines. Wetsuits are not allowed.
• Website: Trans Tahoe Relay

28. Maratón Patagones Viedma
• Location: Viedma, Argentina
• Course: Swim in the Rio Negro
• Distance: 15 km
• Date: February
• Description: A very competitive race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world
• Additional Information: Offers US$11,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit
• Website: Maratón Patagones Viedma

29. Flowers International 5k and 10k
• Location: In the pristine waters of Seven-Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea
• Course: Rectangular 1-loop or 2-loop course with finish in shallow, incredibly clear waters
• Distance: 5 km, 10 km
• Date: June
• Description: One of the world's most clear 10 km marathon swims with sea turtles and tropical fish clearly visible
• Additional Information: Part of the annual Flowers Sea Swim weekend
• Website: Flowers International 5k and 10k

30. Por La Libre Cancún to Isla Mujeres (El Cruce)
• Location: Cancún to Isla Mujeres, Mexico
• Course: Tropical, warm-water ocean course with occasionally rough water when winds come up
• Distance: 3 km, 10 km
• Date: April, May
• Description: 10 km course starts on Cancún and finishes on Isla Mujeres where the swimmers swim over the Cancun Underwater Museum in the National Marine Park
• Website: Por La Libre Cancún to Isla Mujeres

31. Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli
• Location: Island of Capri to Napoli, Italy
• Course: From Marina Grande Beach on the island of Capri to the seafront of via Caraccioli in Naples, Italy
• Distance: 36 km (22 miles)
• Date: July
• Description: Warm-water (28°C or 82°F) ocean course with occasional large swells and heavy surface chop. A very competitive race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world.
• Additional Information: Offers US$20,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit. One of the world’s most competitive professional marathon swims with a long, proud and colorful history since 1954.
• Website: Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli

32. Setúbal Bay International Swim Marathon
• Location: Setúbal Bay, Portugal
• Course: Four loops of a 2.5 km triangle course where warmth and sunshine are expected along the Portuguese coast in beautiful Setúbal Bay, located 40 kilometers south from Lisbon
• Distance: 10 km
• Date: June
• Description: Setúbal bay is one of the most beautiful bays in the world with Serra da Arrábida on one side and Rio Sado magic waterfront on the other. The water temperature is between 18 – 19ºC with a water depth of between 3 – 25 meters.
• Additional Information: Offers US$20,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA 10KM Marathon Swimming World Cup tour. A very competitive race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world.
• Website: Setúbal Bay International Swim Marathon

33. Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon
• Location: Ohrid Lake, Macedonia
• Course: Lake course that starts from the monastery St. Naum, goes along the lakeshore and finishes at the town harbor
• Distance: 30 km
• Date: August
• Description: A very competitive race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world. Offers US$10,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit
• Additional Information: The first mass swimming competition in Lake Ohrid took place in 1924. The first marathon swim was held in 1954 along a 2.5 km course "Gorica-Ohrid". The first ultra-marathon (36 km) was held in 1962.
• Website: Ohrid Lake Swimming Marathon

34. Jarak-Sabac Swim Marathon (Plivački maraton Jarak-Šabac)
• Location: In the Sava River near Sabac, Serbia
• Course: A multi-race event starting from Gomolava on the Sava River
• Distance: 2 km, 4.5 km, 18.7 km
• Date: July
• Description: A very competitive race with the world’s top professional marathon swimmers competing with amateurs competing in the shorter events. Even has nearly 40 years of history.
• Additional Information: Offers US$20,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit as well as 50-meter races for young children
• Website: Jarak-Sabac Swim Marathon

35. Faros Maratón
• Location: In Stari Grad Bay (Hvar Island) in Croatia
• Course: Scenic venue and surrounding area
• Distance: 16 km
• Date: August
• Description: Generous hospitality and enthusiastic support of swimmers from the local community
• Additional Information: Serves as the Croatian International Long Distance Swimming Championships. Started in 1976 by Vicko Soljan, the race has been hosted to about 1,000 swimmers of its 32-year history. It also includes the Faros Challenge, a 16 km for amateurs.
• Website: Faros Maratón Swim

36. Maui Channel Swim
• Location: In the Au’au Channel between the island of Lanai and the island of Maui in Hawaii, U.S.A.
• Course: Start at the north side of Lanai on an uninhabited stretch of beach and finish on the south side of Maui
• Distance: 9.6 miles
• Date: Early September (Saturday before the American Labor Day)
• Description: Solo and relay swimmers cross a deep-water, beautiful channel as they gaze upon 5 islands (Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Hawaii) if the weather permits. Generally calm conditions, colorful marine life and clear warm cobalt blue water makes this event the most popular relay swim in the world. Marine life, strong winds and strong currents on occasion.
• Additional Information: The six-person relay race, started as a competition in 1972 between the Waikiki Swim Club and the Olympic Club of San Francisco, has now grown to over 60 teams of six and dozens of solo swimmers from numerous states, Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Swimmers rotate every 30 minutes. Race is followed by the 1-mile Amakua Swim.
• Website: Maui Channel Swim

37. Sea of Galilee Swim
• Location: Sea of Galilee in Israel
• Course: A challenging and extremely popular channel swim with over 750 support boats
• Distance: 4 km
• 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 incredible 0.1% of the entire population in Israel. The swim was first held in 1944, two years before Israel was formed, and has continued nearly uninterrupted ever since.
• Website: Sea of Galilee Swim

38. Traversée internationale du lac Mégantic
• Location: Lac Memphrémagag, Québec, Canada
• Course: A long-loop course starting and finishing in Magog, Québec, Canada in the narrow Lac Memphrémagag
• Distance: 34 km
• Date: July
• Description: Water temperature and winds can vary widely, especially with strong winds, but 20°C (68°F) is average. A very competitive race with elite professional marathon swimmers from around the world.
• Additional Information: Offers US$25,000 in prize money as part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit as well as several amateur races
• Website: Traversée internationale du lac Mégantic

39. Liberty Island Swim
• Location: New York City, USA
• Course: Circumnavigation around the island where the Statute of Liberty stands
• Distance: 1.2 km
• Date: June
• Description: An enjoyable swim around one of the iconic statutes in the world
• Additional Information: Limited to 225 swimmers
• Website: Liberty Island Swim

40. Race For The Conch Eco-SeaSwim
• Location: Grace Bay Beach in front of Flamingo Cafe, next to Club Med in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, British West Indies
• Course: A 0.5-mile, 1-mile, 2.4-mile clear-water out-and-back course
• Date: July
• Description: A warm-water tropical swim
• Additional Information: Part of the West Indies Bluewater Ocean Swim Series
• Website: Race For The Conch Eco-SeaSwim

41. Little Red Lighthouse Swim
• Location: Hudson River, New York City, USA
• Course: Downstream course along the fast-moving Hudson River
• Distance: 10 km
• Date: October
• Description: A large 10 km race for swimmers of various abilities
• Additional Information: Swimmers are set off in heats based on their speed
• Website: Little Red Lighthouse

42. Lorne Pier-to-Pub Swim
• Location: Lorne, Australia
• Course: Fast pier-to-beach swim
• Distance: 1.2 km
• 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 entered the first race. The race is now capped at 4,300 participants and is known as a very successful charity event.
• Website: Lorne Pier-to-Pub Swim

43. Clean Half Marathon Swimming Open Water Relay
• Location: Hong Kong Bay, Hong Kong
• Course: From Stanley to Deepwater Bay around the beautiful waters of Hong Kong’s south side
• Distance: 15 km (9 miles)
• Date: October
• Description: Solo and 5-person relay race in blue, clean 22 – 27°C (71 – 81°F waters in the back half of Hong Kong Island. Swells can get large with heavy surface chop depending on the wind.
• Additional Information: Large swells and heavy surface chop can be experienced at times, especially from backwash from rock cliffs. The world’s first and only “carbon-neutral” option is available where the swimmers can choose to compete with an outrigger canoe instead of a traditional motorized escort boat. Relay swimmers rotate every 20 minutes.
• Website: Clean Half Marathon Swimming Open Water Relay

44. Sheko Challenge
• Location: Hong Kong Bay, Hong Kong
• Course: Point-to-point course from Shek-O Big Wave Bay to Back Beach (Rocky Bay)
• Distance: 2.2 km
• Date: July
• Description: Festive ocean race for all ages and abilities
• Additional Information: Relatively calm waters
• Website: Sheko Challenge

45. Fiji Swims
• Location: Treasure Island and Beachcomber Island, Fiji
• Course: Held in a tropical island paradise, swimmers swim in crystal-clear waters over beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine life
• Distance: 1 km and 2.7 km races and 18 km solo or free-style relay swim
• Date: July
• Description: The 1 km race is from a floating pontoon near Treasure Island to Beachcomber Island. The 2.7 km swim is at Beachcomber Island and starts on a sandbar. The 18 km solo swim and relay is from Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa to Beachcomber Island. The 18 km race can be done solo, with 2 swimmers or with 5 swimmers.
• Additional Information: Considered to be one of the most beautiful open water swims in the world with numerous world-renowned Olympic medalists annually participating, such as Natalie Coughlin, Shane Gould, Debbie Meyer (1968 triple gold medalist), Dana Vollmer, Danyon Loader (double gold medalist from New Zealand).
• Website: Fiji Swims

46. Galata-Varna Swimming Marathon
• Location: Varna on the west coast of the Black Sea in Bulgaria
• Course: Loop course with start and finish at Varna’s main beach
• Distance: 4.4 km
• Date: August
• Description: Warm-water 23°C (74°F) course with the start and finish with occasional large swells and heavy surface chop
• Additional Information: Considered to be the ‘Sea Capital of Bulgaria’ where the 4.4 km event has been held for nearly 70 years.
• Article: Galata-Varna Swimming Marathon

47. Cook Strait
• Location: Channel between the North and South Islands of New Zealand
• Course: Large tidal flows, cold water temperatures (14º - 19ºC or 57º - 66ºF) and jellyfish present significant challenges
• Distance: 26 km (16 miles)
• Date: July
• Description: Both sides of the strait have rock cliffs. To date, only 71 successful crossings have been made by 61 individuals from 8 countries. Hypothermia and change in weather conditions are the most common reasons attempts fail.
• Additional Information: 1 in 6 swimmers encounter sharks on their crossings, although no one has been attacked during a swim
• Website: Cook Strait

48. Maratón Internacional Hernandarias – Parana
• Location: From the city Hernandarias to Parana, Argentina
• Course: Longest professional marathon swim under extremely competitive conditions down a river with varying currents and flotsam
• Distance: 88 km (54.6 miles)
• Date: July
• Description: Warm-water (28°C or 82°F) ocean course with occasional large swells and heavy surface chop
• Additional Information: Tens of thousands of spectators line the course in an extremely festive atmosphere. Offers US$25,000 in prize money when it is part of the global FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix circuit.
• Website: Maratón Internacional Hernandarias – Parana

49. Maratón Acuático Ruta del Arrecife
• Location: Puerto Morelos in Quintana Roo, Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula, about 36 km south of Cancún, Mexico
• Course: An out-and-back loop course in warm tropical waters
• Distance: 1.25 km, 2.5 km and 5 km
• Date: February
• Description: Beautiful tropical setting with mild currents, slight surface turbulence
• Additional Information: Attracts swimmers from all over Mexico. It is site of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, a National Marine Park.
• Website: Maratón Acuático Ruta del Arrecife

50. Ijsselmeerzwemmarathon
• Location: From Stavoren to Medemblik in Ijsselmeer in the Netherlands
• Course: Formerly the ocean, but now a large lake, Ijsselmeer that can develop very difficult conditions with the winds
• Distance: 22 km (13.6 miles)
• Date: Usually the second Saturday in August
• Description: A competitive field
• Additional Information: Now in its fourth decade, the event was recognized for merit by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2007. Individual escort boats are required and some prize money is offered that has served as the Dutch Marathon Swimming National Championship.
• Website: Ijsselmeerzwemmarathon

51. Fiji Ocean Swim Festival
• Location: Plantation Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
• Course: 1.5 km and 3 km loop course off of Lomani and Plantation Beach. 10 km course is around Plantation Island.
• Distance: 1.5 km, 3 km, 10 km
• Date: October
• Description: The Mamanuca Group of islands provide ideal conditions for swimming with clear waters and beautiful reefs
• Additional Information: Includes a 5-person relay over a 2-kilometer course. Attracts a growing number of swimmers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea USA and Europe as well as swimmers from throughout the South Pacific.
• Website: Fiji Ocean Swim Festival

52. Vanuatu Ocean Swim
• Location: Port Vila in Vanuatu
• Course: Diamond shaped course from Port Vila's seafront around Iririki Island and back
• Distance: 1.5 km and 3.2 km
• Date: June
• Description: Port Vila is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and swimmers pass over reefs and deep channels in clear waters around Iririki Island. Attracts over 200 swimmers from Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji. Features clinics with some of the world's top distance swimmers, artifact trophies for top 3 finishers in each age group.
• Additional Information: Pacific Swims also holds the Espiritu Santo Aore Swim on Luganville, Espiritu Santo right after the Vanuatu Ocean Swim. This 2.8K swim crosses the Segond Channel from Luganville to the Aore Resort. Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu's "Big Island" steeped in tradition and history. Luganville and the Segond Channel was an important US WWII base for the push on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and at the eastern end of the channel is the wreck of the President Coolidge now one of the world's most famous dive sites.
• Website: Vanuatu Ocean Swim

53. Kalamata-Koroni Long Distance Swimming Marathon
• Location: Across the Messiniakos Gulf in Greece, from Kalamata to Koroni
• Course: Calm, protected, clean waterway
• Distance: 30 km (16.5 nautical miles)
• Date: September.
• Description: Beautifully clear and clean crossing
• Additional Information: 22 crossings completed to date
• Website: Kalamata-Koroni Long Distance Swimming Marathon

54. State Harbour Crossing - New Zealand Ocean Swim Series
• Location: Auckland, New Zealand
• Course: Series held in stunning beaches and major waterways
• Distance: 0.7 km, 2.8 km
• Date: November
• Description: Five-part series includes Harbour Crossing, Capital Classic in Oriental Bay is in January, Corsair Classic is in February, Mt Maunganui is in March, King of the Bays is in April
• Additional Information: Very well-marketed series has introduced and incorporated many event innovations including OceanKids and the Golden Goggles Club
• Website: Harbour Crossing - New Zealand Ocean Swim Series

55. Strait of Gibraltar
• Location: Between Europe (Spain) and Africa (Morocco). Strait between Spain and Morocco that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
• Course: Shortest point is between Punta Oliveros in Spain and Punta Cires in Morocco
• Distance: 14.4 km (8 miles)
• Date: June to October
• Description: Swimmers must cross an eastern flow of water from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea with an average of 3 knots (5.5 km per hour). Heavy boat traffic, logistical barriers and surface chop confront swimmers throughout each attempt.
• Additional Information: First successful crossing in 1928. Its boundaries were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules. The currents remain at Herculean strength. Combined with the unpredictability of the water conditions and high winds, only 185 successful one-way crossings and 7 double-crossings have been made to date. Most attempts are made from Tarifa Island due to the influence of strong currents, a distance of 18.5 – 22 km (10-12 miles).
• Website: Strait of Gibraltar

56. International Ice Swimming Association
• Location: New Dam, Fraserburg, South Africa
• Course: at 1,400 meters (4593 feet) above sea level with -8°C to -16°C night air temperatures
• Distance: 600 meters and one mile
• Date: July
• Description: An ice swim is a minimum of a mile (1.6 km) swim in sub-5°C (41°F)
• Additional Information: Participation in both high-risk swims is by invitation only due to safety and medical arrangements. Races have a maximum of 30 swimmers
• Website: International Ice Swimming Association

57. Maracas Open Water Classic
• Location: Maracas Beach in Trinidad (northeast of Venezuela)
• Course: Out-and-back course in a stunningly beautiful stretch of beach in the southern Caribbean Sea
• Distance: 0.7 km (for 12&U swimmers), 2.5 km, 5 km
• Date: September
• Description: Formerly a 5-mile race, the event serves as the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad & Tobago national championships
• Additional Information: Over a 50-year history, starting in 1962, the Classic was once a 5-mile race, but is now a three-part race as part of its growing focus on open water swimming standards for age-group, competitive and masters swimmers
• Facebook: Maracas Open Water Classic

58. Travessia dos Fortes
• Location: Across Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• Course: Point-to-point, cross-bay swim
• Distance: 3.3 km
• Date: April
• Description: Over 2,500 swimmers start together in the world's largest single mass start
• Additional Information: Race is televised live throughout Brazil with hundreds of boats and thousands of safety personnel helping provide a festive, safe and enjoyable celebration of open water swimming
• Website: Travessia dos Fortes

59. Paso a Nado de los ríos Orinoco y Caroní (Orinoco River Swim
• Location: Convergence of the Orinoco River and Caroni River in San Felix, Venezuela
• Course: Fast-flowing river
• Distance: 3.1 km (1.9 miles)
• Date: April
• Description: A very popular and competitive downstream river race
• Article: Paso a Nado de los ríos Orinoco y Caroní

60. Sandycove Island Challenge
• Location: Sandycove Island in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland
• Course: Counterclockwise circumnavigation around the island
• Distance: 2 km (1.25 miles), depending on how close one swims to the island
• Date: September
• Description: The Old Head of Kinsale shelters Sandycove Island from the prevalent westerly winds. Swim at high tide for the easiest swim. Low tide exposes hidden reefs and a beach at the base of the slipway. Medium currents at mid-tide can present problems for slower swimmers.
• Additional Information: Training swims are made from late winter when water can be 45°F to late summer. Nearly 150 swims are scheduled each year at the primary training spot for open water swimmers and triathletes. Excellent training location for those preparing for an English Channel attempt. Clean crisp water with sunken reefs and waving sea plants clearly visible.
• Website: Sandycove Island Challenge Race

61. Atami Open Water Swim
• Location: Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture within view of towering Mount Fuji, about 90 minutes south of Tokyo, Japan
• Course: Rectangular course in relatively still water in Atami Bay
• Distance: 0.4 km, 0.8 km, 3.2 km, 2 km relay
• Date: July
• Description: Part of the Japan International Open Water Swimming Association series
• Additional Information: Series events include the Okinawa Uruma Hamahiga Open Water Swim in Hamahiga Island, Okinawa, Nichinan-Kaigan Nangoh Open Water Swim in Miyazaki on Kyushu Island, Trans of Guns Tanegashima Open Water Swim in Kagoshima on Kyushu (in view of an active volcano), Aichi Minamichita Open Water Swim in Aichi, Minamiboso Kyonan Open Water Swim in Chiba (close to Tokyo), Shiga Biwako Open Water Swim in Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, north of Kyoto, Nihonsandaikei Okumatsushima Open Water Swim in Miyagi, Nihonsankei Mihono Matsubara Open Water Swim in Shizuoka, Genkainada Kokuteikouen Open Water Swim in Fukuoka, Izu Oshima Open Water Swim in the warm semi-tropical waters on the island of Oshima, and the Okinawa Tokashiku Beach Open Water Swim in tropical Okinawa.
• Website: Atami Open Water Swim

62. Jersey Solo
• Location: Island of Jersey located in the English Channel approximately 14 miles (22 km) from Normandy, France and 100 miles (162 km) south of Great Britain
• Course: Scenic terrain ranging from long sandy bays to rugged cliffs
• Distance: Approximately 70 km (43.5 miles) of coastline
• Date: July or August
• Description: Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands. First circumnavigation swim successfully completed in 1969; fastest circumnavigation swim is held by Julia Galloway in 9 hours 32 minutes.
• Additional Information: Water temperature is 17.7ºC (64ºF) and the swim is tidal assisted if timed right
• Website: Jersey Solo

63. Asian Beach Games
• Location: Sanur Beach in Bali, Indonesia (and elsewhere)
• Course: Tough ocean loop course
• Distance: 5 km and 10 km
• Date: October
• Description: Competitive races that includes many of the top marathon swimmers throughout Asia
• Additional Information: Part of the Asian Beach Games that includes other sports such as beach soccer, beach sepak takraw, beach handball, bodybuilding, windsurfing, triathlon, dragon boat, sailing, paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, woodball and beach volleyball
• Website: Asian Beach Games

64. Freedom Swim
• Location: Robben Island to Big Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
• Course: Across the cold-water Robben Island Channel (13°C or 55°F)
• Distance: 7.5 km
• Date: April
• Description: There are two categories: solo swimmers that compete under standard rules and relays of 2 or 4 swimmers (no wetsuits, wetsuits, corporate relay, schools relay) • Additional Information: The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association offers information on swimming various distances between 7-35 kilometers between Cape Town and Robben Island, False Bay, Cape Point and other locations with water temperatures range between 13°C (55°F) and 19°C (66°F). Robben Island is located 12 km offshore from Cape Town, South Africa. Robben Island was used as a cruel prison for nearly 400 years, including the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela from 1964-1982. Today, the island is a World Heritage site and offers one of the world’s great channel challenges. Since it was first crossed in 1899 by Henry Charteris Hooper, nearly 300 individuals have successfully swum between the mainland and Robben Island.
• Website: Freedom Swim

65. Peter Pan Cup Christmas Morning Handicap Swim
• Location: Hyde Park in the heart of London in England
• Course: Short, but shockingly cold, swim (4°C or 40°F) on the south bank of the lake
• Distance: 100 yards
• Date: December 25
• Description: Christmas tradition since 1864
• Additional Information: Site of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim during the 2012 London Olympics. The Serpentine was man-made by joining a series of small ponds together back in 1730, under the direction of Queen Caroline. One of the first competitions in the Serpentine was in 1837 promoted by a London wine merchant by collecting an entrance fee from competitors. A gold medal and the title of 'Champion of the Serpentine River' were first awarded in a 1838 Grand Match. Twelve athletes, including the Champion of England and the Champion of London, competed in front of 20,000 spectators over a distance of 1000 yards in a Bridge-to-Bridge race.
• Website: Peter Pan Cup Christmas Morning Handicap Swim

66. Swim The Island
• Location: Marine Protected Area of Bergeggi in the north-west coast of Italy
• Course: Out-and-back course around an island in Bergeggi
• Distance: 1.7 km, 3.5 km, 5 km
• Date: October
• Description: A spectacular natural setting above one of the most extraordinary seabeds of the Mediterranean Sea
• Website: Swim The Island

67. Traversata dello Stretto
• Location: Strait of Messina in Sicily, Italy
• Course: Various courses in the Strait of Messina which is a narrow channel between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria on the Italian mainland
• Distance: Between 1.8 km and 5.2 km
• Date: August and September
• Description: The first race is the 5.2 km 45th annual Traversata dello Stretto. First crossed in 1930, the Strait has strong currents and natural whirlpools that make for a challenging and enjoyable event to do and watch, especially on a clear day. The Traversata dello Stretto starts at Torre Faro, crosses the Strait of Messina to a turn in Cannitello in Calabria on the Italian mainland, then traverses along the Italian coast and finished in Villa San Giovanni. The second race is the Trofeo Baia di Grotta. The third race is the 1.8 km Trofeo Onda Azzurra along the Calabria coast. The fourth race is 3.7 km Favazzina-Scilla swim in late August. The fifth race is the 5.1 km Memoria Nino Sofi. The sixth race is the 3 km Città di Reggio Calabria in September.
• Additional Information: In an earlier poll, the establishment of the Traversata dello Stretto race in September 1954, inspired by Giuseppe Dominici's 1930 crossing, was chosen as the Top Open Water Moment in History as it is typical of many local coastal swims in the Mediterranean.
• Website: Traversata dello Stretto

68. Lektocht
• Location: River Lek (local name of the Rhine) in the Netherlands
• Course: Start at Beusichem and finish in Culemborg in a river, usually current-assisted
• Distance: 2 km, 6 km, 2.5 km (breaststroke)
• Date: The second Sunday in July
• Description: Winding course with bends in the river
• Additional Information: Offers good prize money that attracts top Dutch swimmers and top competitive swimmers from other countries. Swim has a long history, but it was cancelled in the 1960’s due to pollution in the river Rhine and restarted in the 1990’s.
• Website: Lektocht

69. BCT Gdynia Marathon
• Location: between Hel and Gdynia in Poland
• Course: Coastal point-to-point swim in Gdynia
• Distance: 19.5 km
• Date: August
• Description: A professional marathon swim with US$10,000 to the men's and women's winners
• Additional Information: The Baltic Container Terminal-sponsored race also includes a 2.95 km and 4x200m relay race on 25 August
• Website: BCT Gdynia Marathon

70. Ter rede van Hoorn
• Location: Fresh water Lake Ijsselmeer at Hoorn in the Netherlands
• Course: Out-and-back in a freshwater canal on boundary of National Park De Weerribben
• Distance: 1 km, 2 km, 5 km, 10 km, 1 km (breaststroke), 2 km (breaststroke)
• Date: Usually last weekend in July or first weekend in August
• Description: 2-day event
• Additional Information: Occasionally rough water conditions
• Website: Ter rede van Hoorn

71. Swim The Costa Brava
• Location: l'Escala on Costa Brava, Spain
• Course: Out-and-back course in the sea
• Distance: 1.5 km, 3.5 km, 6 km2 km
• Date: September
• Description: Salt-water swim in a scenic coastal paradise
• Additional Information: The first stage of the ProSwim Challenge, the European amateur open water swimming championship event organised byCulture Sport
• Website: Swim The Costa Brava

72. Malta-Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Competition
• Location: Malta is an archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea south of the coast of Sicily, Italy
• Course: A channel swim between the main island Malta and its sister island Gozo and passing by the small picturesque island of Comino from the East side
• Distance: 5.5 km one-way, 11 km two-way
• Date: Usually the third Saturday of August
• Description: This is a competitive swim that may serve to generate funds for a favored charitable institution. The swim uses regulations issued by the Swimming Board of Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club in Malta. All swimmers are escorted by safety boats. Swimming in groups up to 4 is allowed, although group swimming is not part of the competition. Apart from the main marshal boat, a maritime team of paramedics accompanies the swimmers. The two-way 11 km swim starts in Marfa Bay, Malta with a turn-around buoy in Qala, Gozo and the finish in Marfa Bay. The one-way 5. km swim starts from Gozo.
• Additional Information: The channel swim is part of the local open water swimming championship series organized by the Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club which manages another 6 coastal swims, 5 of which are 2 km and one 4 km. These swims are held between June and August and serve as qualifiers for the local swimmers to do the channel swim. Foreigner swimmers must produce a recent medical certificate and a letter from their coach, club and national federation for them to participate.
• Website: Malta-Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Competition

73. Maratona Aquática
• Location: Wet'n Wild Park near São Paulo in Brazil
• Course: Lake in the Wet’n Wild water park
• Distance: 1 km, 2 km, 4 km
• Date: August
• Description: Serves as the Maratona Aquática Championships
• Additional Information: Nearly 2,000 swimmers, ages 6-80, take part annually
• Website: Maratona Aquática

74. The Bay Challenge
• Location: Sandy Cove (West Vancouver) to Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, Canada
• Course: Solo and relay races
• Distance: 0.75 km, 1.5 km, 3 km, 6 km (solo + relay)
• Date: July
• Description: Wetsuits are mandatory and neoprene swim caps are strongly recommended
• Additional Information: 78-year history of cold-water swimming. Ocean temperatures may range between 13°C (50°F) in the shipping lane to 18 – 20°C (62 – 66°F) at Kitsilano Beach
• Website: The Bay Challenge

75. International Swimming Marathon of Toroneos Gulf
• Location: From Kallithea Beach to Nikiti in Greece
• Course: Sea course
• Distance: 26 km
• Date: July
• Description: Water temperature in the deep-blue sea averages 24°-27C (75°-80.6°F)
• Additional Information: Inspired by a group of Nikita youngsters who dared to swim an unprecedented 25 km from Nikiti, Sithonia to Kallithea, Kassandra in 1971, the local community generously provides warm hospitality for the international field of 30 swimmers. Each swimmer is considered a winner and receives a cup and wreath crown made of olive tree leaves as was done in ancient Greece.
• Website: International Swimming Marathon of Toroneos Gulf

76. Henley Swim Classic
• Location: upstream River Thames in the Henley Royal Regatta course
• Course: Easy-to-navigate straight line point-to-point course
• Distance: 2.1 km
• Date: 4:30 am dawn start in late June
• Description: Held very early on Sunday morning before the start of the Henley Royal Regatta. It is part of a series of flat-water races including the Henley Classic, the Henley Mile, the Bridge to Bridge and the Queenford Relays between June and September.
• Website: Henley Swim Classic

77. International Winter Swimming Marathon
• Location: Palirria, Thessaloniki in northern Greece
• Course: Held on the Nei Epivates-Palirria Beach in winter
• Distance: 1 km
• Date: January
• Description: Cold-water sea with water temperature under 10°C (50°F)
• Additional Information: Swimmers must provide a medical certificate to participate due to the cold
• Website: International Winter Swimming Marathon

78. Traversée du Lac d’Annecy
• Location: Lac d’Annecy (Lake Annecy), France
• Course: A crystal clear turquoise lake lined by vivid mountain greenery and azul skies create a perfect setting for an open water swim
• Distances: 1 km, 2.4 km
• Date: August
• Description: First held in 1913 with continuous competitions for 79 years
• Additional Information: A well-known French tourist site commonly known as the Venice of France. The lake is fed by five rivers and a powerful underwater source, protected by strict environmental laws, to create a beautiful site for swimming.
• Website: Traversée du Lac d’Annecy

79. South American Beach Games
• Location: Maldonado Punta del Este in Uruguay (and elsewhere)
• Course: Seaside course in cold waters
• Distance: 10 km
• Date: December
• Description: The competitive marathon swimming race that is part of the multi-sport competition of marine and beach sports
• Additional Information: Called the Primeros Juegos Suramericanos de Playa in Spanish that includes beach soccer, beach volleyball, beach handball, 7's rugby, beach tennis, sailing, surfing, triathlonand water skiing events
• Website: " South American Beach Games

80. Amber Mile Race
• Location: Yantarnoe Lake (Amber Lake) in Yantarnyy near the Baltic Sea in Kaliningrad, Russia
• Course: In a freshwater lake very near the Baltic Sea on a resort coast in a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania
• Distance: 1 nautical mile
• Date: July
• Description: Established by the Russian Federation of Masters Swimming, the water is above 20°C (68°F)
• Additional Information: Called the Amber Mile Race because 80% of the world’s amber is produced in Kaliningrad
• Website: Amber Mile Race

81. 2XU Ocean Swim Series
• Location: Five-race series and community swims throughout Tasmania in Australia
• Course: Various ocean courses
• Distance: 1.2 km to 5 km
• Date: December through March
• Description: Series includes the 1.2 km Taste Festival – Pier River Swim in Carlton Park in December; 0.5 km, 2 km, 5 km Penguin Island Open Water Swim in Port Sorell in January; 0.5 km, 1 km, 2 km Australia Day Swim on Kingston Beach in January; 0.5 km, 1 km, 2 km Clear Water Classic in Carlton Beach in February; 0.5 km, 2 km River-to-Bluff Swim in Devonport in March.
• Additional Information: Organized by the Surf Life Saving of Tasmania, the series includes 0.5 km races for novice and nippers. It also includes a mass participation Community Series including the 0.5 km and 1 km Early Season Spring Swim in Lauderdale in early November; the 0.5 km, 1 km Nearly Summer Swim in Lauderdale in late November; the 0.5 km, 1 km Twilight Swim in Lauderdale in mid-January; the 1.6 km Fort Beach Swim in South Arm in early February; the 1 km Twilight Swim in Kingston Beach in mid-March, and the 1 km, 2 km, 5 km Devil of a Swim in Bicheno Waubs Bay in early April.
• Website: 2XU Ocean Swim Series

82. Western Australia Open Water Swim Series
• Location: Five-race series throughout Western Australia
• Course: Various ocean courses
• Distance: 1.25 km to 10 km
• Date: November through January
• Description: Open Water Series #1 includes 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km, 10 km races in Champion Lakes in November; Open Water Series #2 includes 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km races in Rockingham Foreshore in November; Open Water Series #3 includes 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km races in Mullaloo Beach in December (with the Carolyn Bourke Memorial Fundraiser); Open Water Series #4 includes 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km races in Leighton Beach in January; Open Water Series #5 includes 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km, 10 km races in Sorrento Beach in late January. Open Water Series #5 also serves as the Western Australia State Championships and the 10 km Rottnest Channel Swim Rotto Rehearsal.
• Website: Western Australia Open Water Swim Series

83. Ocean Racing Series World Championships
• Location: Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elisabeth, South Africa
• Course: Seaside course with an onshore start and finish
• Distance: 2 km
• Date: April
• Description: Part of the 3-day Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival that includes the professional 7 km Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge and the elimination event called the King of Nelson Mandela Bay and Queen of Nelson Mandela Bay, and the Izani Siqubhe 1 km Ocean Swim 4°C
• Additional Information: The multi-discipline Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival brings together world-class professionals swimmers together with local swimmers of every age and ability
• Website: Ocean Racing Series World Championships

84. Bermuda Round the Sound Swim
• Location: Harrington Sound in Bermuda, 650 miles east of North Carolina
• Course: Finish at Palmetto Gardens in Palmetto Bay
• Distance: 0.8 km, 2 km, 4 km, 7.5 km, 10 km races
• Date: October
• Description: Swim over pristine coral reefs amid beautiful marine life in crystal-clear warm waters
• Additional Information: Nearly 200 swimmers from 19 U.S. states and several countries swim along astoundingly beautiful coastline. Flights are less than 2 hours from New York. Event includes fun pre-race swims.
• Website: Bermuda Round the Sound Swim

85. Travesía a nado Tabarca-Santa Pola
• Location: From the island of Tabarca to Varadero Beach in Santa Pola, Spain
• Course: 5.9 km swim in the Mediterranean Sea
• Distance: 5.9 km
• Date: July
• Description: Safety protocols are comprehensive in the island-to-mainland swim organized by Club Natación Alone
• Additional Information: Well-organized event that is limited to 900 swimmers
• Website: Travesía a nado Tabarca-Santa Pola

86. Damme-Brugge Open Water Swim
• Location: Canal Hoeke - Sluis in Brugge, Belgium
• Course: Straight-line course in a freshwater canal from Damme to Brugge
• Distance: 5 km (freestyle), 5 km (breaststroke)
• Date: August
• Description: The annual swim celebrated its 100th year on 22 August 2010
• Additional Information: Utilizes a wave start that separates strokes and speed of swimmers, along includes a 4.5 km swim for recreational participants

87. International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim
• Location: Lake Zurich, Switzerland.
• Course: Cross-lake swim from Rapperswil to Zurich, Switzerland
• Distance: 26.4 km
• Date: July
• Description: Solo and relay swims can experienced significant surface chop with strong winds
• Additional Information: An international field usually quickly reaches its maximum number of swimmers
• Website: International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim

88. Maraton Guadalupano
• Location: Acapulco, Mexico.
• Course: 2-day open water swimming event in a beautiful beach course in a Mexican resort town
• Distance: 1 km, 4.2 km
• Date: December
• Description: 1 km race is one first day from Isla Roqueta to Playa Caleta; 4.2 km race is from Playa Caleta to Playa Hornitos.
• Additional Information: Celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008

89. Vibes & Scribes Lee Swim
• Location: Cork, Ireland
• Course: Swim under 8 bridges through the center of Cork
• Distance: 2 km
• Date: July
• Description: 1.7 km are downstream and 300 meters upstream
• Additional Information: Over 300 swimmers participate in a swim that was originally held in 1914
• Website: Vibes & Scribes Lee Swim

90. Liffey Swim
• Location: In the Liffey River through Dublin, Ireland
• Course: Swim through the heard of Dublin
• Distance: 2.2 km
• Date: Last weekend in August or first weekend in September
• Description: Swimmers must qualify for the race by completing five open water swims that are used to calculate the swimmer’s handicap time. Wetsuits are not allowed.
• Additional Information: Over 400 swimmers participate in a swim that was originally held in 1920
• Article: Liffey Swim

91. RCP Tiburon Mile
• Location: San Francisco Bay, California, U.S.A.
• Course: Cold-water point-to-point swim from Angel Island to the shores of downtown Tiburon
• Distance: 1.2 miles (1 nautical mile)
• Date: September or October, depending on the tides
• Description: Considered to be the fastest and most competitive short-distance race in the world with several Olympic medalists, Olympians, national and world champions, English Channel swimmers and FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix winners from over 20 countries, including Russia, Australia, South Africa, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil, Mexico and Canada.
• Additional Information: Over 800 swimmers are also treated to the world’s best open water swimming post-race banquet. Overall male and female winner receives a US$10,000 first prize.
• Website: RCP Tiburon Mile

92. Waikiki Roughwater Swim
• Location: South shore of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.
• Course: Start under the Diamond Head volcano and swim across Waikiki Bay over coral reefs to the finish at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
• Distance: 2.4 miles
• Date: Labor Day, first Monday in September
• Description: Very competitive race where dozens of accomplished swimmers annually compete. Swimmers swim over beautiful coral beds and colorful marine life in a picturesque course.
• Additional Information: Inspiration for the 2.4-mile swim in the Ironman Triathlon. High surf and strong currents are occasionally encountered by participants of all ages and backgrounds from dozens of countries and every U.S. state. In 1970, the race saw 4 women and 32 men swim across Waikiki. Over 1,000 people annually enter the race.
• Website: Waikiki Roughwater Swim

93. Kingdom Swim
• Location: Lake Memphremagog, bordering the state of Vermont and Québec, Canada
• Course: Out-and-back from Newport, Vermont
• Distance: 1 mile, 3 miles, 6 miles, 10 miles (16 km)
• Date: July
• Description: A multi-race charity swim where swimmers receive beautifully hard-carved awards and walking sticks
• Additional Information: Serves at the World 10-mile Swimming Championships as part of the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association series
• Website: Kingdom Swim

94. Distance Swim Challenge
• Location: From Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica Beach in Southern California
• Course: A challenging ocean course that runs parallel to the Southern California course with onshore starts and finishes. The course also include in-and-out transitions along the sandy shore.
• Distance: 1.2 miles, 2.4 miles, 4.8 miles and 12.6 miles
• Date: October
• Description: A potentially rough water swim with potentially large surf with hundreds of safety personnel along the entire 12.6-mile course with a finish at the famous Santa Monica Beach Pier
• Additional Information: A qualification swim is required and the swim was covered by ESPN
• Website: Distance Swim Challenge

95. Great Chesapeake Bay Swim
• Location: Maryland, U.S.A.
• Course: Point-to-point swim across Chesapeake Bay
• Distance: 4.4 miles
• Date: June
• Description: brings in many top open water swimmers from the Midwest and East Coast. Strong currents on occasion; most popular swim on East Coast.
• Additional Information: In 1982, a 21-year-old local swimmer was the first to cross the Chesapeake Bay in memory of his father. In 1983, two swimmers entered the first official race and 60 swimmers participated in the second year. The swim grew to 870 entrants by 1990, with finishers ranging from 12 to 76 years old. In order to maintain high safety standards, the organizing committee now limits the race to 600 swimmers. It takes less than 18 minutes for the entire field of 600 swimmers to be filled up using the current online entry system.
• Website: Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

96. La Jolla Rough Water Swim
• 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 a natural 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 are abundant. Water clarity is among the best along the West Coast. Water temperature can be in the low 60°F’s.
• Additional Information: Started in 1916, it is billed as America’s Premier Rough Water Swim and nicknamed The Big Wet One. Event started in 1916 when 7 men swam 1.7 miles in the beautiful La Jolla Cove. By 1925, 8 men and 11 women swam the race. By 1950, 105 swimmers entered. In 1984, over 1,000 swimmers entered. In 2008, 2,297 swimmers participated, but since 1999, a limit was placed on the number of swimmers in order to maintain the high standards of the organizing committee.
• Website: La Jolla Rough Water Swim

97. Acapulco 5K International Ronald Johnson Open Water Swim
• Location: Acapulco, Mexico
• Course: Along the waterfront in Acapulco, Mexico from one end of the bay to the other
• Distance: 1 km, 1.5 km, 5 km
• Date: January
• Description: Young swimmers use the shorter courses. The 5 km race is separated into 4 heats in a well-marked course with a festive atmosphere and clinic at the end of the race that finishes at a water park that is open to all competitors.
• Website: Acapulco 5K International Ronald Johnson Open Water Swim

98. Pennock Island Challenge
• Location: In Ketchikan, Alaska
• Course: Around Pennock Island in the Tongass Narrows
• Distance: 8.2 miles (13.2 km)
• Date: August
• Description: A current-assisted course largely sheltered from large surf. Water temperature ranges from mid-50s°F to low 60s°F (12.7 to 16.6°C). Air temperatures range from the mid-60s°F to mid 80s°F (18-29°C).
• Additional Information: Solo and relay divisions. Wetsuits are allowed, but will have their own awards category. Fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.
• Website: Pennock Island Challenge

99. 81K Indian National Open Water Swimming Championships
• Location: Bengal, India
• Course: Down the River Ganga and Bhagirathi River and ends in Berhampore in Bengal
• Distance: 81 km
• Date: August
• Description: Longest amateur race in the world
• Additional Information: Also includes a 19 km swim
• Article: 81K Indian National Open Water Swimming Championships

100. Shiga Biwako Open Water Swim
• Location: Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture, Japan (just north of Kyoto)
• Course: Out-and-back, calm water lake swim
• Distance: 3.2 km
• Date: August
• Description: Held in the largest lake in Japan close to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan
• Additional Information: Part of the Japan International Open Water Swimming Association series
• Website: Shiga Biwako Open Water Swim

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