Sid Cassidy

From Openwaterpedia
Sid Cassidy speaking at the United Nations about the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
Sid Cassidy coaching the next generation of open water swimmers
Sid Cassidy, former FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee chairman and starter at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Sid Cassidy with Jay Wilkerson, coach Flip Darr, Chad Hundeby, Martha Jahn, Karen Burton, and Dirk Bouma with coaches Penny Dean and John York as part of the record-setting English Channel relay that set three English Channel relay records: 6 hours 52 minutes on their first leg (England-to-France), 7 hours 26 minutes on their second leg (France-to-England), and the fastest overall and fastest 2-way relay (England-to-France-to-England) in 14 hours 18 minutes in 1990
Sandra Bucha and Jon Erikson were both inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame as Honor Open Water Swimmers in the Class of 2014 when Sid Cassidy was the recipient of the 2014 Paragon Award for Competitive Swimming

Sid Cassidy is the American open water swimmer and open water swimming administrator.

Open Water Swimming Highlights



Cassidy’s early passion for open water swimming developed under developed under coach Bob Mattson in the early 1960’s in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

He later went on to an All-American collegiate career at North Carolina State University and continued his proximity to the open water as a lifeguard with the Ocean City (New Jersey) Beach Patrol where he was introduced to professional marathon swimming.

Cassidy was the #4-ranked professional marathon swimmer in 1969 when he swam marathons in Chicago, Atlantic City, Canada and Egypt. It was during this period when he also started his coaching career. Similar to Bill Russell with the Boston Celtics, who was the player-coach of the NBA champions, Sid pulled off unprecedented double duties in the English Channel in 1990.

While coaching the USA Swimming National Open Water Team, he also swam on the six-member team that set three records for the fastest English-to-France crossing, the fastest France-to-England crossing, and the fastest double crossing that all still hold today.

Cassidy later became the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team head coach for five years from 1991-1996. During this period, he coached Jay Wilkerson and Samantha Chabotar to national championships from his own club while he also escorted American medalists at various FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships and World Cup events. He subsequently served as the race director for six international marathon swimming events from 1999 to 2004, and promoted the 10K distance back in an early 10K World Cup event in 2002. 'The 10K for the USA' was a precursor of how the 10 km races can host a large number of elite swimmers and provide thrilling races for spectators to enjoy up close.

Cassidy was the race starter at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing, but perhaps his greatest legacy will result from his globe-traveling responsibilities on behalf of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee where he has served since 1996. Together with members Dennis Miller of Fiji and Chris Guesdon of Australia, Cassidy promoted the 10 km marathon swimming model that was successfully used at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Sevilla, Spain and later in Beijing and London in 2012. Cassidy continues his role in reviewing and promoting the sport and its rules and regulations and being a strong voice and leader for open water swimming in America. As the sport grows, his leadership in educating referees and officials on how to correctly and consistently interpret the rules during competition will be especially important and appreciated.

As a swimmer, Cassidy was ranked fourth as a professional marathon swimmer in 1969. He swam several 46 km (22.5-mile) Around the Island Marathon Swims in Atlantic City, USA and competed in professional marathon races in Chicago, Canada and Egypt. He both coached and swam on a record-setting double-crossing of the English Channel by the USA Swimming National Team in 1990.

Sid Cassidy on Open Water Wednesday

Warning Whistles and Yellow Card

Head referee Sid Cassidy giving out warning whistles and yellow cards during a USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships in Fort Myers, Florida

USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force

USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force was a five-person investigative Open Water Review Commission to review the findings of the independent investigation into the tragic death of Fran Crippen on 24 October 2010 at a FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and to submit safety protocol recommendations.


The Task Force had three functions: (1) to review the findings of the independent USA Swimming investigation, (2) to solicit and consider other pertinent information from appropriate individuals and organizations, and (4) develop recommendations for the improvement of safety protocols, procedures and precautions arising from the death of Crippen. These recommendations were presented to USA Swimming and FINA in March 2011.


Erica Rose - Athlete Representative
Sid Cassidy - Coach and Technical Expert
Richard Pound - Chairman
Harold Cliff - Events Expert
Dr. Scott Rodeo - Medical Consultant


The recommendations were ultimately accepted by the FINA Bureau on 26 July 2012 as concrete means to improve safety in its open water swimming competitions.

2021-2025 FINA TOWSC Members

2017-2021 FINA TOWSC Members

2014-2016 FINA TOWSC Members

2009-2014 FINA TOWSC Members

1. Ronnie Wong Man Chiu, Chairman
2. Jorge Aurelio Delgado Panchana, Vice Chairman
4. Flavio Bomio, Honorary Secretary
4. Sid Cassidy, Member [replacement for Steven Munatones of USA]
5. Khwaja Aziz, Member
6. Valerijus Belovas, Member
6. Tomas Haces German, Member
8. Samuel Greetham, Member
9. Zouheir El Moufti, Member
10. Andrea Prayer, Member
11. John West, Member
12. Noam Zwi, Member
14. Washington Beltran, Events Sub-Committee
14. Hatem Seifallah Mohamed Ibrahim, Events Sub-Committee
15. Shelley Taylor-Smith, Events Sub-Committee
16. Dennis Miller, FINA Bureau Liaison

External links