These selfless organizations have recruited and maintained hundreds of volunteers who devoted thousands of hours to support swimmers and marathon swimming events.
British Long Distance Swimming Association (BLDSA), Great Britain, 2002
The trail-blazing British Long Distance Swimming Association started to conduct its annual championships in Lake Windermere in 1957. After an affiliation with the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, the Lake Windermere Championship expanded to accept competitors from Australia, Israel, USA, Canada, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Ireland, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Holland, Belgium and many other countries. Since 1964, the 25K (15.5-mile) International Long-Distance Swimming Championships have been held in Lake Windermere. In 1986, the first 25K (15.5-mile) World Cup Long Distance Swimming Championships were held under the auspices of FINA and run regularly thereafter. Over the years, the British Long Distance Swimming Association has held the Windermere Two-Way, Derwentwater Senior and Coniston Senior, Morecambe Cross Bay, Champion of Champions, Derwentwater Junior, Lynn Regis, Wykham Lake Junior and Senior, the Waterloo Junior, Rivington Reservoir Senior, Veterans, Junior and Novice events, and the Millennium Celebration Championships.
They received The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003 for their contribution to the administration of open water swimming.
Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF), USA, 2010/11
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation is the governing body in California’s Catalina Channel. The Federation’s mission is to promote interest in Catalina Channel Swimming, to advise and furnish information to and advise those intending to make the swim, to promote the safety and welfare of the swimmer, to observe and authenticate persons who swim the Catalina Channel and to gather and preserve historical Catalina Channel Swimming data. From the first solo crossing in 1927 and relay crossing in 1926 up to the end of 2018, there have been 504 successful solo swimmers (some with multiple crossing) and 164 relay crossings.
Channel Swimming Association (CSA), Great Britain, 1996
The Sport of Channel Swimming traces its origins to the latter part of the 19th Century when Captain Matthew Webb made the first observed an unassisted swim across the Strait of Dover swimming from England to France in 21 hours and 45 minutes. Some 80 years ago, in 1927, (at a time when less than a dozen swimmers had managed to emulate Captain Matthew Webb's feat), the Channel Swimming Association (the CSA) was founded to authenticate swimmers claims to have swum the English Channel, and to verify crossing times. It assists and advises swimmers who intend to make a Channel attempt. It regulates the conduct of such attempts – and aims to further the Sport of Channel Swimming. Its rules have served not only its own purposes, but also have provided models for the national and international rules of many federations and other governing bodies in the sport.
Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF), Great Britain, 2013
Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation enables dreams to come true. It is one of the two governing bodies for those individuals or relays that want to cross the English Channel, the most hallowed waterway in the world. The CS&PF is the newest and largest organisation for English Channel swimming is recognised and approved by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the French coastguard. Its database holds a comprehensive list of all the English Channel swims since 1875 while its members are living legends of the channel swimming world. When so many people devote so much time and energy and spend so many resources in chasing their dream of crossing the English Channel, the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation faces profound responsibilities, With the fickle weather and all the myriad things that can go wrong with any channel swim, the CS&PF does so many things right in managing its responsibilities and dealing with successes and failures, triumphs and disappointments. Dealing with people from different backgrounds and cultures, setting standards, certifying swims, making judgment calls, coordinating everything…the volunteers are faced with significant responsibilities throughout the season. And it just works, a tribute to the organisation and everyone who endeavors to create, support and follow the CS&PF.
Faros Maratón, Croatia, 2012
The Croatian International Long Distance Swimming Championship, also known as the Faros Maratón Swim, has developed over the last 36 years from a small provincial marathon swim into a world-class event drawing the international elite. The professional race is 16 kilometers in the sea of Stari Grad Bay on Hvar Island and takes place in the month of August. 1,089 athletes from 42 countries have taken part in this international celebration. As one of the leading sports events in Croatia, it was previously known as the Yugoslav International Long Distance Swimming Championship where it continued to host their event even despite war conditions.
Fédération internationale de natation (FINA), Switzerland, 1994
In the late 1980’s, FINA President Robert Helmick authorized a special commission to study open water swimming and determine its place in the FINA Family of Aquatic Sports. FINA President Mustafa Lafaoui established a Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC) to formalize Open Water Swimming Rules, conduct World Championships in the 5K (3.1-mile), 10K (6.2-mile) and 25K (15.5-mile) distances and to help support efforts to add a marathon swimming event in to Olympic Games. These efforts came to fruition with the addition of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association, Spain, 2017
The Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association) of Spain started on 7 July 1999. Before this only 61 swimmers: 56 solos and 5 round trips (without wetsuits) completed the crossing. The Association helped promote the safe swim and compiled a record on their website: ACNEG.com
Swimmers responded in great numbers to the Association’s offering and at the end of 2016 the record of crossings grew to 569 solos and 9 round trips. Marathon swimming loves a “Strait”. The most famous and most popular being “The Strait of Gibraltar”. Spanning two continents with: “the Rock”, the Atlas mountains, the full Atlantic Ocean as well as the opening to the Mediterranean. The shortest distance is from Punta Oliveros (Spain) to Punta Cires (Morocco) with a total distance of 14.4km. More than 80 years of swimming have shown that the strong currents best support attempts from Tarifa to Punta Cires 16.5km (and depending on speed and conditions – landing further along the coast – up to 22km).
IMSHOF inductees have been active with Mercedes Gleitze as the first swimmer in 1928 and three completing the round trip: Maria Louisa Cabañeros Sanchez de Leon, Gustavo Oriozabala and Penny Palfrey.
Indonesian Swimming Federation, Indonesia, 2014
The Open Water Swimming Committee of the Indonesian Swimming Federation received a Certificate of Merit by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2013 for its contributors to Open Water/Marathon Swimming and was recognized for its hosting of the Asian Beach Games and the Southeast Asian Games (or SEA Games). They raised the profile of marathon swimming with the 10 km races at the 2011 SEA Games (Southeast Asian Games) held on Putri Island and the follow-on 10 km Sibolga Open Water Swimming Competition in the Pantai Pelabuhan Lama Sibolga (Sibolga Beach Harbor).
Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA), Ireland, 2012
The ILDSA was founded in 1966 with the aim of promoting open water swimming. Honourary Secretary John Moffett organised four events in its first season. Since the auspicious beginning, the ILDSA has organised over 300 open water events, providing thousands of swimmers an opportunity to compete at the highest levels. It was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2011 as an Honor Organisation. The ILDSA established development races that introduce pool swimmers to the outdoor environment. The core of the ILDSA calendar remains races in Belfast Lough, Dublin Bay, Shannon Esturary, Gaulway Bay, Lough Neagh, Carlingford Lough, and Rathlin Sound. Lough Erne is its major annual championship. These races served as competition for all. For some, these races also helped prepare the swimmers for the English Channel. Indeed, many of today’s Channel Swimmers test themselves in ILDSA events in Clew Bay, Co. Mayo and the annual Championships at Lough Erne before attempting the English Channel.
The consistent, high standard of the ILDSA events and its contributions have long been internationally recognised: the ILDSA received the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Award of Merit in 1995. In addition to promoting races, the ILDSA has sought to set standards in marathon swimming challenges. It provided relay teams that were the first to swim the North Channel and the length of Lough Neagh. The ILDSA has also provided observers for North Channel attempts and individual swims in all parts of Ireland and a nationwide support network to encourage and recognize those who challenge the waterways of Ireland.
Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club, Great Britain, 2015
Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club (JLDSC) is a pool, educational and open water swimming club in Jersey Island in the Channel Islands that organizes, certifies and governs open water swims in and around Jersey. It is affiliated to the Amateur Swimming Association, British Long Distance Swimming Association, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and SER. The JLDSC proudly names more English Channel solo swimmer per head of population that any other global location. Additionally, JLDSA run two popular solo swims: Around Jersey and Jersey to France which draw many international marathoners.
Midmar Mile, South Africa, 2013
The aQuellé Midmar Mile in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, organized by Wayne Riddin, is the world’s largest competitive open water swim that attacks nearly 19,000 swimmers of all ages and abilities every year to South Africa. Its operations are among the most professional in the sport and its budget is the largest in the world. While the main races are 1 mile, a 10km is also offered. This event has contributed greatly to the success of South African marathon swimming.
Rottnest Channel Swim Association, Australia, 2010/11
The Rottnest Channel Swim Association has conducted over two decades of 19.7K solo and relay crossing of the Rottnest Channel. Formed in 1989, the Rottnest Channel Swim Association priorities are to observe and authenticate people who swim the Rottnest Channel, promote safety, advise and encourage swimmers wanting to make an attempt as well as gathering and preserving historical data from the crossings. Nearly 25,000 individuals have been certified by the Rottnest Channel Swim Association to have swum the channel as solo and relay swimmers since 1956.
Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, Canada, 1976
Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean was formerly called Aquatic Club do lac St-Jean. The inaugural Paul Bunyun Marathon Event was hosted by the Aquatic Club du lac St. Jean in 1955. The original race was 21 miles in distance across Lac St. Jean. In 1958 the race was formalized and the world top professional marathoners were invited open for the first time to the Through the years that race has lost the original Paul Bunyun nomenclature and the distances have also changed. The race continues to this day to be one of the very best organized Professional Marathon Swimming competitions. Over the period of years, with their excellent committee structure and total community of Roberval involvement, they were able to change distances and course of their race. They were able to evolve with the times as demonstrated by their cooperation with the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation, the International Marathon Swimming Association and presently with The Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA). The leadership and organizational talents were shared with other race organizations and international administrative organizations in Marathon Swimming.
Varne Ridge Holiday Park was voted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2014 as an Honour Organisation. Varne Ridge Holiday Park is a small secluded & exclusive family-run South East England Tourist Board Grade 4 stars **** Award Winning holiday park in Folkestone, England. It won the South East England Millennium Tourism Awards Caravan Holiday Park of the Year Category, Year 2000 and it is situated near to the cliffs and having panoramic views over the English Channel to the coastline of France.
Varne Ridge often plays host to open water swimmers from all over the world who come to England in the hope of swimming across the English Channel. It is managed by Evelyn Frantzeskou.