adjective, noun - An unassisted swim is an attempt or completion of an open water swim undertaken according to standardized rules. An unassisted marathon swim requires a swim of at least 10 kilometers without significant assistance from currents.
Unassisted swims are done without aid of a shark cage, jellyfish cage, fins, snorkel, paddles, wetsuit or other protective swimwear or gear in order to minimize or eliminate one or more obstacles (e.g., shark attack, jellyfish stings, cold water, or distance). In an unassisted swim, a swimmer wears only traditional swimwear without neoprene (as defined by the English Channel swimming community), goggles, and if desired, ear plugs, and one swim cap. In either an Assisted or Unassisted swim, a swimmer can swim together with a Pace swimmer.
Unassisted Marathon Swim
An Unassisted Marathon Swim is defined by the Marathon Swimmers Federation as a swim without artificial assistance to performance, other than the standard equipment of the sport. Any swim that benefits from assistance - in the form of nonstandard performance-enhancing equipment, supportive contact with the swimmer, or other violation of the spirit of unassisted marathon swimming - is considered an Assisted Swim. There are two groups facilitating such swims: Channel Swimming Association and Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation.
Standard Equipment of Unassisted Marathon Swimming
- One swimsuit made of porous, textile material. For males, the suit must not extend below the knee or above the waist. For females it must not extend below the knee, onto the neck, or beyond the shoulder.
- One bathing cap made of latex or silicone.
- Goggles, earplugs, and noseclips.
- Sunscreen and grease.
- Safety lights for night visibility.
- Simple timekeeping device (chronometer).
- Escort boat, pilot, and crew.
- Nutrition, and equipment to transport it between the boat and swimmer. The swimmer may not be supported or towed by the feed equipment.
- Paddler(s) and support swimmer(s).
Assisted Marathon Swims and Other Crossings
There are two groups facilitating assisted swims and other crossings (example rowing, paddle boarding): Channel Crossing Association and Channel Swimming & Piloting Services.
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