Setting And Confirming A World Record In The Open Water

Setting And Confirming A World Record In The Open Water

World records in the open water can be obtained by myriad ways. You can swim in a body of water with a recognized governing body (e.g., Catalina Channel Swimming Federation in California or Cape Long Distance Swimming in South Africa) and swim faster that anyone else in your category (e.g., male, female, first, oldest) or you can become the the most prolific swimmer or go further than anyone else in history (e.g., two-way crossing, triple crossing) or possibly in a different direction (e.g., north-to-south, reverse circumnavigation) or in a different stroke (e.g., butterfly, backstroke or breaststroke).

These governing bodies require an authorized observer document your swim.

You can also swim in a body of water without a recognized governing body which comprises of 99.9+% of the available venues around the world. You can determine your category (e.g., first or fastest male or female, oldest, most prolific, wetsuit), course (e.g., point-to-point, one-way crossing, two-way crossing, circumnavigation, lengthwise, widthwise, stage) and distance (via GPS or Google Earth).

Ideally, the swim has an independent observer who clearly and comprehensively documents the swim. The start point, finish point, navigational course, crew names and contact information, pilot name and contact information, water and air temperatures, conditions, currents, tides, winds, marine life, length and number of feeding stops, swimwear and numerous other details should be documented in writing during the swim (not after based on memory). Videos and photos of the start and finish are recommended and can be posted on video-sharing websites (e.g., YouTube or Vimeo). Clear and accurate documentation of the intended and actual course should be obtained, ideally, with GPS readings overlaid on a marine chart. If possible, SPOT Tracker or other GPS service can pinpoint the swim in near real-time and accurately document the swim for history (e.g., see here).

Independent observers can be recruited from established governing bodies, Open Water Source or national governing body-certified open water swimming officials or referees.

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