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Relay

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Exchange area of the 4-person relay at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Lake Balaton, Hungary. Photo by Deep Blue Media.
The Sea Hawk was a team of 6 Indian open water swimmers who completed a charity swim of 433.11 km (269.1 miles) from Dona Paula in Goa along the Konkan coast to the Gateway of India in Mumbai, India in 156 hours between 13-19 February 2015 that included Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narhari, Ankan Kumar Patel, Vicky Tokas, Ganesh Palande, and Manav Mehta
Kurt Baron swimming alongside the Pacific Monarch in the Ventura Deep Six relay en route on a 202-mile course together with Jim Neitz, Mike Shaffer, John Chung, Tom Ball, and Jim McConica far off the coast of California in 2010 from Ventura to La Jolla
Relay exchange during the Maui Channel Swim from Lanai to Maui
4-person English Channel relay with Imelda Lynch (far left), Patrick Sheehan (second from left), Coach Eilis Burns (middle), Oswald Schmidt (second from right), and Eddie Irwin (far right)

noun - A relay is an athletic competition with more than 1 athlete as part of the team. During an open water swimming relay race like a team pursuit competition, members of a team can take turns (legs) swimming for a specific duration of time or distance. Each individual on the team swims legs on the relay with exchanges or change-overs when one swimmer replaces the other during the course of a relay.

Pool Relays

A pool swimming relay consists of four swimmers who swim all freestyle or each individual stroke: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.

Types of Open Water Relays

Well-known Relay Swims

World's Top 100 Open Water Swimming Relays

1. Rottnest Channel Swim, 19.7 km in Australia
2. English Channel, 33.8 km between England and France
3. Catalina Channel, 32.3 km between Santa Catalina Island and the California mainland, U.S.A.
4. Maui Channel Swim, 15.4 km between the islands of Lanai and Maui in Hawaii, U.S.A.
5. Olympic Club Trans Tahoe Relay, 16.1 km in Lake Tahoe, California, U.S.A.
6. International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen, 26.4 km in Lake Zurich, Switzerland
7. Round Jersey, 66 km around the isle of Jersey, United Kingdom)
8. 20 Bridges Manhattan Island Swim, 45.9 km around Manhattan Island in New York, U.S.A.
9. Baikal Race, 35 km across Lake Baikal in Russia
10. Kotlin Race Swimming Marathon, 25 km across Neva Bay in the Baltic Sea in St. Petersburg, Russia
11. Magnetic Island to Townsville Open Water Swim, 8.5 km in Magnetic Island, Australia
12. FKCC Swim Around Key West, 20.1 km around Key West in Florida, U.S.A.
13. Swim Around Key West, 20.1 km around Key West in Florida, U.S.A.
14. Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, 38.6 km across Tampa Bay in Florida, U.S.A.
15. Beltquerung, 21 km from Denmark to Germany
16. Neva Swimming Marathon, 77 km down the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia to the Gulf of Finland
17. FINA World Swimming Championships Team Relay, 5 km 4-person team pursuit in various locations
18. Tsugaru Channel, 19.5 km from the island of Honshu to the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan
19. Queenford Relays, 4×1 km in England
20. Thames Marathon, 14 km from Henley-on-Thames to Marlow, UK
21. Lake Travis Relay, 19.3 km in Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
22. Fiji Ocean Swim Festival, 10 km in Mamunuca Islands in Fiji
23. Clean Half Extreme Marathon Swim, 15 km from Stanley Beach to Deepwater Bay in Hong Kong
24. Cold Half, 15 km from Stanley Beach to Deepwater Bay in Hong Kong
25. Issyk-Kul Race, 45 km across Issyk-Kul in the deep basin of the northeast Kyrgyzstan
26. 13 Bridges, 27 km along the Neva River through St. Petersburg, Russia to the Gulf of Finland
27. Fiji Swims, 18 km between Denarau, Beachcomber Island and Treasure Island in Fiji
28. Sognefjord Relay Races, 0.2 km in Balestrand, Norway
29. Valaam Swimming Marathon, 20 km from the island of Putsaari to the island of Valaam in Ladoga Lake, Russia
30. Fastnet Relay, 15 km in Baltimore, Ireland
31. Napo’opo’o to Honaunau Swim, 7.2 km in Hawaii, U.S.A.
32. Japan International Open Water Swimming Association, 1.6 km in 14 locations throughout Japan
33. Swim for Freedom, 12.8 km in Wisconsin, U.S.A.
34. St. Vincent’s Foundation Swim Across the Sound, 26 km in Connecticut, U.S.A.
35. La Jolla Cove Swim Club 10-mile Relay, 16.1 km in La Jolla Cove, California, U.S.A.
36. Lake Balhash Race, 32.2 km across Lake Balkhash in eastern Kazakhstan
37. Farallon Islands, 48.2 km between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Farallon Islands in California, U.S.A.
38. World Winter Swimming Championships, 4x25m breaststroke relay in various locations
39. International Ice Swimming Association World Ice Swimming Championships, 4x25m breaststroke relay in various locations
40. Bonaire EcoSwim, 2 km in Bonaire, Netherland Antilles
41. Jersey France Relay, 28.9 km from the isle of Jersey to France
42. Santa Barbara Channel, 19.6 between Anacapa Island and California mainland, U.S.A.
43. Santa Barbara Channel, 30.5 km from San Pedro Point to Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard or 37.8 km from Fry's Harbor to Leadbetter Point on the California mainland
44. Santa Barbara Channel, 44.2 km from Santa Rosa Island to Coal Oil Point in Goleta on the California mainland
45. Steelman Open Water Swim Relay, 4.8 km in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
46. Catalina Island Circumnavigation 61.1 km around Santa Catalina Island in Southern California, U.S.A.
47. Xiamen-Kinman Swimming, 8 km from Taiwan to China
48. Kitsilano Challenge, 6 km in Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, Canada
49. Loch Ore Meadows Scottish Championships 2 km in Lochore Meadows, Scotland
50. 4 Loops 4 Fun 6K Open Water Swim, 6 km in Colorado, U.S.A.
51. Espiritu Santo Aore Swim, 2.8 km in Vanuatu
52. Revéza 10, 13 km in Brazil
53. Travesssia de Itapema 5000, 5 km in Brazil
54. Tumon Bay Ocean Swim, 2.4 km in Guam
55. Pennock Island Challenge, 13.2 km in Alaska, U.S.A.
56. Marathon de la Releve, 16 km in Canada
57. Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim, 13 km in Ireland
58. Ploegen Tijdrace, 500m team pursuit in Netherlands
59. Great Turtle Relay Swim around Mackinac Island, 17.7 km in Michigan, U.S.A.
60. Sitka Sound Adventure Swim, 10 km in Alaska, U.S.A.
61. Minnetonka Challenge, 8 km in Minnesota, U.S.A.

Ultra Long Distance Relays

  • 1996: Mediterranean International Swimming Relay Race was a 93 km Malta-to-Sicily 4-person open water swimming competition between Australia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary on 19-20 July 1996 that started from St. Julians Bay in Malta and finished at Marina di Modica in Sicily, Italy. The Australian team won in 19 hours 11 minutes and included Melissa Cunningham, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Joe Mitchell and Grant Robinson on 20-minute legs with Chris Guesdon as their manager and tactician. Note: 1996 was the only year of a successful crossing. Both the 1995 Mediterranean International Swimming Relay Race and 1997 Mediterranean International Swimming Relay Race were held, but all the participating teams failed to finish. 1st: Australia (19:11), 2nd: Italy (19:15), 3rd: Czech Republic (20:42), 4th: Slovenia (20:46), 5th: Hungary (20:56).

Tandem Santa Cruz Relay Video

Tsugaru Channel Relay Video


Video of Chris Kraus, Rick Gaenzle and Brian Ross relay crossing of the Tsugaru Channel courtesy of Masayuki Moriya of Ocean-navi and the Tsugaru Channel Swimming Association

Fast and Frozen Video

External links