61 Years Of Crossing The Sea of Galilee

61 Years Of Crossing The Sea of Galilee

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Ilan Ben Dror is one of the organizers of one of the biggest open water swimming events in the world: over 10,000 people participate in the annual Sea of Galilee Swim.

Why is the event so large? “Because Israel is very small country with one lake and one big open water swimming event a year that has been going on for the last 61 years. It is a tradition and we have benefitted from the great marketing efforts of Speedo Israel.”

The Sea of Galilee Swim has two courses: the 1.5 km course starts from the Maagan Kibbutz and the 3.5 km course starts from the Kibbutz Ha’on

Kibbutz Ha’on is located on the southeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, surrounded by palm trees and mountains. The resort is 20 minutes drive from Tiberias, the main town along the lakeshore and just under an hour by car from Nazareth.

The 61st Sea of Galilee Swim is a tradition in a truly unique sense. While marathon runs, participatory walks or road-running events are often the largest mass athletic competitions in many countries, Israel stands alone in the world’s community.

Sea of Galilee Swim is the largest amateur sports event in Israel, always held in September. In addition to the amateur heats, there are competitive heats for faster swimmers.

In a nod to safety for the thousands of athletes who participate in the event, insurance and an ergonometric test are required. Additionally, boats and rafts are stationed every a few hundred meters along the route. If swimmers get tired, they can climb onto the watercraft for a brief rest and continue when they are ready.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones