What constitutes a "world record" in OWS?

Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
edited October 2012 in General Discussion
N.B. I am not being critical here, but think this is an interesting topic. That said...

I have noticed that in DNOWS (and other places), there are occasions when it will say "so-and-so set a world record for swimming ABC to XYZ in HH:MM." Sometimes I look at the course mentioned and think "why is that a world record?" I understand for things like the English Channel, MIMS, Farrallons, etc that there is a history and a standard of performance which elevates the swim to a level that deserves record status. Likewise for things like "most time spent swimming non-stop" and the like.

So, the question is: What should be the criteria in OWS for constituting a "world record" as opposed to say, a "course record", "notable performance" or some such?


P.S. I am claiming the world record for swimming from the Old Church Rd access point to the middle no-wake zone buoy at the entry to the main part of the lake and then back to Old Church Rd at Blue Marsh Lake. Time was 1:58:15 and the previous world record (also held by me) was 2:13:30. However, it may not qualify since there was no drug testing and I DID take a PED before the race. The PED was a Turkey Hill Minute Mart vanilla ice cream sandwich.

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde



  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited June 2012
    Yup. +1

    It's a funny verbal tic of OWS promoters trying, I guess, to create more attention-grabbing headlines and make the sport more marketable to the masses.

    "World records" in the pool make sense - there's a standardized course (SCM or LCM) that (theoretically) is the same no matter where the event takes place. In OWS, you can claim a "world record" for anything - like Old Church Rd to the no-wake zone buoy. It's absurd.

    I would argue even the English Channel shouldn't have "world records." It would be accurately described as a "course record" or, simply "English Channel record."

    On a related note, I was recently informed that I will receive a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for the NJ-NY direction of the Ederle Swim. Seriously! Now, I won't be lighting it up in flames out of protest or anything... but it's still sort of amusing. Apparently it was compelled (out of fairness, I guess?) because someone claimed a new "world record" for another swim in the same geographic region.
  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    In my opinion, there are infinite number of world records that can be achieved in the open water swimming world. While many may cry heresy, I can accept criticism of this position that I have often written about and explained for over 30 years. For example, your swim from Old Church Rd access point to the middle no-wake zone buoy at the entry to the main part of the lake and then back to Old Church Rd at Blue Marsh Lake is, in my opinion, eligible to be recognized as a world record. You can fill out the requisite paperwork and email it back to me.

    You do not have to agree with this concept or form of recognition - and many others may be critical - but I think it is a nice recognition of your speed and commitment to the sport.

    At the end of the day, that is what it is: a public recognition of your talents and efforts. Because fewer than 2.5% of Americans can swim 250 meters non-stop and, of those 2.5%, an much smaller percentage can swim over 2.4 miles without a wetsuit, I believe your swim and your record should be recognized for history.

    Since starting this program, I have learned about thousands of new swims, new swimmers and new bodies of water around the world. I literally have thousands of swims that I have yet to input in the WOWSA (World Open Water Swimming Association) database. Every one of these swims and swimmers should be recognized and, frankly, I think calling the swimmers a World Record Holder is cool and uplifting. They often take that recognition and share it with their family, friends, coach, co-workers and local media.

    The recognition not only helps educate non-swimmers about the swimmer, but also about our sport.

    Many will argue that such swims should not even be called a record (national or course). I can understand their opinion, but I would rather elevate the swimmer and their efforts to something more grand and publicly eye-catching.

    But back to you...

    In your case, your record will stand until someone swims faster than you on the same course, despite conditions that will undoubtedly change (from day to day, from hour to hour and from minute to minute). That is, even if someone swam on the same day as you, they would face a slightly different course and conditions. They would not swim the exact same distance as you and would face a different number of waves and hit the currents in a slightly different way.

    But I still would like to honor your effort with the designation and recognition of a world record. Your effort can serve not only as a benchmark for the marathon swimming community, but also as an inspiration for the non-marathon swimming community. Furthermore, your swim - when publicly recognized and duly documented - serves as an effective means to educate others about one more open water course around the world.

    Others will eventually follow you...and I think that is good.

    So despite criticism that has continued for decades, I strive to recognize and promote those who swim unprecedented courses around the world - and are the fastest (non-neoprene) ... by gender, age, direction and stroke.

    At the very least, the database of information is a fascinating read. :)

    Footnote 1: Where there is an existing recognized governing body in a certain body of water (e.g., CSA, CP&PF, NYC Swim, FISA, HCSA, LTSS), recognition of the records are the responsibility of those governing bodies. If there is no existing governing body, then WOWSA steps in the vacuum to maintain a database and archives for open water swimming history of these fastest or first swims.

    Footnote 2: I do keep some limited records of neoprene swims, which are rapidly increasing in number and scope, but the primary focus is on non-neoprene, unassisted swims of any length over 1 km. I also believe calling non-neoprene, unassisted swims world records - that are duly documented - is one effective way to distinguish these swims from neoprene-assisted swims.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited June 2012
    I don't think anyone is arguing against record-keeping. Leonard deserves credit for setting a record for the "Old Church Rd access point to the middle no-wake zone buoy at the entry to the main part of the lake and then back to Old Church Rd at Blue Marsh Lake" Swim. And he deserves great credit as the pioneer of the swim, if it subsequently becomes a meaningful swim to other people.

    But why must it be a world record? The "world" seems superfluous and silly. Is there an identical Blue Marsh Lake in Sweden or Japan?

    There must be a line between "elevating" (to use @Munatones' word) the sport of OWS and making it ridiculous.
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    I think Guinness has done much to make the idea of world records ridiculous....
    (if the Hokey-Pokey could be considered dance, I expect the menu at Friday's to be categorized as literature)

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    As I mentioned before, I completely understand why and acknowledge that my opinion and perspective is in the minority and that most of the global marathon swimming community does not prefers the designation of the fastest (or slowest or first) swim to be a world record. This debate has been going on for some time. That being said, I enjoy reading about people who do things faster/better/longer/higher/colder/older than anyone else in the world. I enjoy flipping through the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records and often wonder, "How did they do that? Why did they do that? How did they prepare themselves? That is one amazing feat..." And the one common denominator that draws my attention (and the attention of many others in the general public) are the words "world record". These people (including probably over 50% of the people on this forum) have done something faster/better/longer/higher/colder than anyone else in the world in all of human history. That is REALLY cool, I think. There is only one Blue Marsh Lake in the world and many ways to cross it (lengthwise, widthwise, two-way, butterfly, early part of the season, oldest person). Whoever crosses it the fastest is better (i.e., fastest) than anyone else in the world (until their record is broken). Because they are faster than anyone else in the world on their chosen course, I think that is a world record. I like to be independent of the thought-process of the pool swimming world (where world records can only be set in a FINA-sanctioned event or national governing body sanctioned meet in a pool of pre-determined length and water temperature) and designate anyone who did something faster/better/longer/higher/colder in any body of water as a world record holder simply because they did it faster than anyone else in the world. That being said, I clearly understand and acknowledge the collective will, wishes and thought-process of the global marathon swimming community...but I never knew about those hokey pokey dancers until Mr. Barra brought them to my attention. In the same way, if a certain unassisted swim in a certain body of water is called a world record, then someone else in the world (outside of the global marathon swimming community) will also read about it and think, "How did they do that? Why did they do that? How did they prepare themselves? That is one amazing feat..." Some may scoff, many may think the designation is ridiculous, but many others in the non-marathon swimming world will think, "How cool is that?!?"
    Because what you all do is very cool and quite simply amazing.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    Back in my feckless youth as a competitor in racewalking, I would have never claimed a world record for the equivalent of my Blue Marsh Lake swim. At best, it would be vacuous and at worst it would have been viewed as the ultimate act of hubris by my fellow competitors. Until fairly recently, even the (running) marathon was not an official world record event - it was listed as a "world best" - and it was only with certain rules set that it moved up in status. So when the fastest marathon ever run was done at Boston last year, it was not a world record because it did not meet certain criteria. At the minimum then, I would argue that until there are agreed upon criteria of substance defining what constitutes a world record in OWS, such a creature is rare and confined to certain "benchmark" swims. (e.g. English Channel, MIMS, etc)
    Question: Is there an official (FINA recognized) world record for the 10k swim?
    If not, given the strict rules governing international 10k swims, then how can we allow something of a vastly more lax nature to be accorded world record status?
    I do see that there is a certain publicity/exposure angle to it, but I would rather not risk devaluing the term "world record" by overexposure. As a developmental aid to the sport, I'd rather see something like an age-graded set of times for certain distances/courses that earned "Gold", "Silver", "Bronze" or "Stud Muffin" status. ("Stud Muffin" is just for completing it if you didn't get any of the other standards.)

    For the record, I am withdrawing my WR claim for the Blue Marsh Lake swim. I can't live any longer with the guilt of having ice cream sandwich-doped before it and I don't have the resources - a la Lance Armstrong - to fight the USADA/WADA. Furthermore, I pledge not to ice cream sandwich-dope before the first leg of 8 Bridges next Monday.


    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    Your points are well-taken. Undoubtedly, your perspective represents the overwhelming majority of the global marathon swimming community.

    Collectively, the concept of world records have been described as ridiculous, vacuous and an act of hubris in the comments by the community above. The concept of world records in open water have been called even worse over the last 30 years.

    There are no world records recognized by FINA for the 10K swim. However, contrary to common belief, there are no strict rules for governing international 10K swims. There are no set criteria (that I know of) to even measure the courses. On the FINA circuit, winners have completed 10K swims ranging from 1:30 to 2:02. While some of this time difference is attributable to the different conditions, I believe some of this difference is due to the varying lengths of the courses as set up and sanctioned by FINA.

    But time is not the important issue for any FINA open water race. Only finish position. Because money is given for the finish position - not the time. Let's imagine that FINA would give prize money for breaking a course (or world) record. Then, I guarantee that the perspective of the swimmers would change on a dime (or yen or franc or pound).

    It is also true that most swimmers do not even know or care about the concept of open water swimming records. For example, how many people can reel off the names, countries and times of the English/Catalina/Gibraltar/North/Molokai/Lake Zurich/Lake Tahoe/MIMS/Cook Strait/Waikiki Roughwater Swim/Great Chesapeake Bay Swim/Rottnest Channel Swim/Midmar Mile/Windermere/lac St-Jean male and female record holders?

    A few I would guess.

    And that is perfectly OK.

    Everyone swims for their own reasons and to achieve their own goals.

    The primary goal that I am attempting to achieve is to help swimmers and others to know about the achievements of others. One way is through the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, but it is also through numerous other ways, ranging from world record designations (when proper paperwork and verification are filed) to reams of information provided by media outlets like the Associated Press to the Wall Street Journal.

    Of course, I would not call a swimmer's achievement a world record if they do not wish this designation to be publicly divulged. In fact, many swimmers have asked me NOT to write about their swims - which I respect. I would not, for example, list Evan's Ederle record in the world record database, especially after this conversation!

    Anyway, I tip my hat to you, Evan, Dave and the hundreds of others who think similarly. However, I will continue to archive information for others who set "world's bests"...if only for my own education and enjoyment...and the very tiny minority out there.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • GordsGords Syracuse, UTCharter Member
    You're a legend Steven. I appreciate your efforts. The world of OWS is much more visible thanks to you.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited June 2012
    Munatones wrote:
    I would not, for example, list Evan's Ederle record in the world record database, especially after this conversation!
    No worries, Steve: the record will be broken this summer anyway. It will save us all some paperwork :)

    But it's interesting that you would not list my Ederle record in the "world record database," even disregarding this conversation. The swim between Sandy Hook and Manhattan is one of the most historically significant marathon swims in the world, with the NY-NJ course pioneered in 1913, and the NJ-NY course pioneered in 1928 url="http://www.nycswim.org/Event/Event.aspx?event_id=2212&from=history"]reference[/url. The swim was part of a NYC Swim-organized public race, so privacy concerns are irrelevant.

    So, not out of vanity or desire for fame and glory, but purely out of curiosity: Why would you not include the Ederle Swim records in the database?

    Does inclusion in the database essentially depend on the swimmer's motivation to be recognized, or do I misunderstand?
  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    The database includes the overall records for the fastest (in both directions), male and female and earliest swims along the Ederle Swim course. I do not have information on who is the oldest for the Ederle Swim. Because the Ederle Swim is governed, managed and owned by NYC Swim, it is an easy swim to research and add. However, an exception was made when I learned of your particular stance on world records. Again, I do not mean to upset you or others or make light of the concept of world records, but I have been compiling these kinds of records for decades (you should see my office stacked with papers!). That being said, prior to this conversation, I pretty sure not too many people knew that this database even existed ... but there are a few people out there who are always curious about a particular body of water and at least I can tell them if any particular record of a crossing of a particular body of water exists. Of course, the database is very far from perfect or complete - and not a week goes by without updates and corrections (and this has been going on for years) - but at least it provides one historical account of the history of open water swimming. Again, it is simply one snapshot of our sport. Conrad Wennerberg, Tim Johnson, Dale Petranech and Joe Grossman all did and do their part to compile the history of the sport. I am just one of a long line of people who attempt to document and standardize these records (whether one refers to them as course records, world records or simply swims).

    In one interesting example that I learned several weeks ago, the world record for the English Channel was broken twice within a 24-hour period. But I did not know who set the record first or who was second. The sister of the record holder contacted me and told me the background of that incredible day. Then when I researched the newspaper accounts of those swims, it was interesting to read the different accounts.

    But to answer your question directly, if the swim is governed by an existing association or body, then their records are used. I defer to their documentation and certification process. If a swim is not governed by an existing association, then documentation is required. In your case, you do not have to do anything because the Ederle Swim is sanctioned and run by the NYC Swim.

    The governing bodies that are used are posted here (http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2012/05/what-are-open-water-swimming-governing.html). Additionally, documentation about a sanctioned swim by national swimming federations, masters swimming associations and large or established clubs (e.g., Jersey Swimming Club) are also used. Also, documentation from associations that no longer exist (e.g., http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2012/06/inside-international-long-distance.html) are also used.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Munatones wrote:
    Because the Ederle Swim is governed, managed and owned by NYC Swim, it is an easy swim to research and add. However, an exception was made when I learned of your particular stance on world records.
    I'm still unsure what this means. NYC Swim lists me as the Ederle record holder (NJ-NY direction). Are you saying that, because of my aversion to the term "world record" that, in your own personal database, the Ederle record has now reverted to the previous holder, Elizabeth Fry?
  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    edited June 2012
    My apologies for making this sound complicated. It is. Perhaps this background can help?

    1. Records in the open water swimming world have been traditionally maintained by the local governing bodies. In the case of the Ederle Swim, NYC Swim owns, governs and manages the swim, logistics, results, archives, records, etc. Therefore, it is up to NYC Swim in this case to determine not only who is seen as the record holder. In Lake Tahoe, it is now the Lake Tahoe Swimming Society. In the Cook Strait, it is Philip Rush.
    2. If a local governing body determines a time and a record, then that is it. No questions are asked.
    3. In the case of the Ederle Swim, you are the record holder. No questions are asked.
    4. I am not sure if NYC Swim defines you as a world record holder. It is my assumption that they describe your exploit as a course record holder.
    5. The Guinness Book of World Records, on the other hand, has apparently included you as a world record holder.
    6. I believe the Guinness Book of World Records could not have designated you as a world record holder without the explicit confirmation of NYC Swim. Therefore, it is my guess - which will need to be confirmed - that NYC Swim at least implicitly through their confirmation of your record in the Guinness Book of World Records has acknowledged that you are a world record holder. Please note that this point is pure conjecture on my part based on limited knowledge.
    7. Because of #3 and #6, I initially added you to the world record database that I compile. Initially this database was on graph paper in the 1980s. Then it shifted to my primitive computers in the 1990s and now it is maintained on an Excel spreadsheet.
    8. Initially, this information was posted online, but about 2 years ago I stopped updating online because so many requests and so many new swims were being accomplished. I am still in the process of updating these swims.
    9. The number of local governing bodies in the sport of open water swimming ranges from volunteer-managed organizations like the Farallon Islands Swimming Association to professionally-run corporations/associations like the NYC Swim or CS&PF, or somewhere between like the non-profit Waikiki Roughwater Swim, Inc.
    10. Some of these bodies have their information online; others do not. Some bodies have detailed information (e.g., Channel Swimming Association and Solo Swims of Ontario, Inc.); others have less information. In many cases, the details of the information are still on paper, stored in garages, in files and are otherwise stacked in a volunteer's home. Note: it is rare for an open water governing body to have a full-time staffed personnel like the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean).
    11. However, with the advent of computers and growing use of the Internet, along with the enhanced ability to share information, some of the archives and information are slowly finding its way online. For those interested in the open water swimming files of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, most of the archives are stored in Fort Lauderdale in file cabinets. These archives include a treasure trove (my description) of open water swims around the world. But it takes time to get that information transformed from the printed word to the online world.

    In summary, you remain the record holder because of #3 above. However, I am unsure if you are seen as the world record holder or the course record holder by NYC Swim. It is my guess that you are seen as the world record holder, but I could be wrong.

    In any case, due to your apparent opposition to the concept of world open water swimming records, I can add you to the database that I maintain...or not. I do not wish to force you or anyone to be on a list that I maintain, especially if that is not your choice.

    If you want to be added, I can do so. If you do not want to be added, you do not have to be added. Which do you prefer?

    Personally, I think your swim was a great one and you should be very proud of it ... and your swim should be touted as a world record. Your commitment to the sport is something that others can emulate, especially among the next generation. For there are probably many young kids in Santa Barbara who would love to know that you are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited June 2012
    Thank you for the explanation! I think my confusion derived from a combination of:

    - Bullet point #7: "Because of #3 and #6, I initially added you to the world record database that I compile,"
    - and the subsequent question of whether I wanted to be added to the database or not...

    ...which makes it sound like I was removed from the database because of my semantic opposition to the word "world" in the term "world record." Which struck me as a bit odd.

    Put another way: If a journalist naively asked you: "Who holds the world record for swimming from Sandy Hook to Manhattan?", what would you say?

    Hopefully you wouldn't say: "__________, because Evan Morrison opposes the term 'world record.'"

    Anyway, perhaps I'm complicating this unnecessarily. To clarify:
    • I'm not opposed to records, or record keeping.
    • NYC Swim lists me as the "record holder" for the Ederle Swim (NJ-NY). Obviously, I don't renounce this designation. I'm proud of the swim - just as every marathon swimmer should be proud of his/her swims.
    • If someone (you, or anyone else) maintains a separate database of OWS records (regardless of whether they are described as "course records" or "world records"), the listing for MIMS or Ederle Swim should be identical to what NYC Swim lists.
    • In open water swimming, the term "world record" offends my sense of logic. Simple as that.
  • MunatonesMunatones Charter Member
    To answer your question:

    Evan Morrison.

    To clarify, NYC Swim is the ultimate and sole decision-maker on all records, rules, issues, athletes and logistics regarding all swims organized and sanctioned by NYC Swim. The authority, rights and ownership of all NYC Swim events is recognized and has been confirmed by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Guinness Book of World Records, FINA, UANA, and U.S. Masters Swimming. The world's global open water swimming community similarly recognizes Morty Berger's organization and authority in the same manner.

    My database and documentation of swims around the world will be passed on to someone else sometime in the future who is interested in such things. This spreadsheet and information are based on a personal hobby.

    For purposes of swimmers in this Marathon Forum, I apologize to everyone who I offended in any way.

    Footnote: this topic may come up again sooner than later because reporters around the world will most likely describe Penny Palfrey and Diana Nyad's upcoming swims from Cuba to Florida as world record attempts.

    Steven Munatones
    Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Actually, the description of Penny's and Diana's swims as "world record attempts" makes sense to me - as "longest continuous ocean swim." Time-in-water and swim distance are metrics than can be compared meaningfully across different swims, so it makes sense to have world records for them.

    Similarly, the Night Train Swimmers' attempt to swim from San Francisco to Santa Barbara could also be described as a world record attempt - because distance is a comparable metric.

    PS - No offense taken at all! I think you know from our offline conversations that I enjoy a little friendly debate :) Thanks for engaging with us.
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Scottsdale, AZCharter Member
    The term "World Record" is mostly redundant, but it's technically correct. You could even get rid of the redundancy by defining the term as "best effort by a citizen of earth."

    As for the underlying issue
    It's a funny verbal tic of OWS promoters trying, I guess, to create more attention-grabbing headlines and make the sport more marketable to the masses.
    Marketing is everything. It's not the best art, science, or product design that wins. It's the best marketing. (I say that with both feet in the designer/scientist/artist camp.)

    Martin Strel, and Ben LeCompte are great at marketing. If the general public knows something about marathon swimming, it's because they've read something about one of these people.

    I have no beef with Martin Strel or Ben LeCompte. Fins, wetsuits, snorkels and paddles aside, those guys are great athletes. I'm just not sure what to call that sport. The emphasis is more on the expedition than the swimming.

    What I want is recognition for the sport of marathon swimming. I don't want people to assume that I use a wetsuit. Or, God forbid, fins. When I say I did a marathon swim, I want people to know I did it on my own power. I really can swim that far.

    I see a lot of digs about Dianne Nyad's marketing machine. But Dianne is the only pure marathon swimmer people have even heard of. She's doing the sport a service by bringing the media attention.

    Do I think it's fair that they've heard of Dianne Nyad and not Penny Palfrey? No! Penny needs better marketing. Not because she personally wants or needs the media attention, but because the sport of marathon swimming deserves the attention.

    If Leonard's
    world record swim from the Old Church Rd access point to the middle no-wake zone buoy at the entry to the main part of the lake and then back to Old Church Rd at Blue Marsh Lake
    inspires just one person to get out there and try to go one better without any performance-enhancing gear, I'm all for it.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    I'm with watergirl. I'm so tired of my friends and aquantences (how the hell do u spell that damn word?) assuming I wear a wetsuit when I do an OWS. And so far, it is 100% of people who think that. Whether it is course or world or first, I'd rather people understand that I didn't use anything but my own power.

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • Okay so what is the "World record" for longest ocean swim, continuous, unaided / unassisted?
    I think its between the 3 below, or maybe there are more contenders.
    Penny Palfery ?
    Diana Nyad ?
    Veljko Rogosic ?
  • WaterGirlWaterGirl Scottsdale, AZCharter Member
    Daily News of Open Water Swimming is reporting that Diana Nyad was in the water for 60 hours. Is that true? Or did she take breaks on the boat?
  • Good question, Watergirl. DN's blog says she was "in the water" 41:45; and, by my calculation, her attempt lasted 57-ish hours. What was going on during those 15+ hours? News reports continue to say her attempt was un-aided.
  • There is definitely a new arena in the sport of ows. I guess it went from a couple hundred real swimmers to a few thousand wet suit triathlete swimmers, almost overnight a couple decades ago. Now we see the expeditionary swim/voyage/adventure swimmers adding a new ingredient. I love that.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member
    @Evmo - Why did you bump this? Are you gonna take a crack at my Church Rd to middle no-wake zone buoy RT world record?

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • TheoTheo Oxnard, CAMember
    I think we need to establish a global body of marathon swimmers that sanction world records. I am not comfortable with a single person calling something a world record. I would think we should be able to get representatives of the recognized channel organizations to create and overarching organization to cover swims not currently covered by existing governing bodies and to standarize our rules. Glad that @Evmo bumped this again.
  • johnyGjohnyG Dublin Ireland Member
    I think Stiven is doing an amassing job and from me personally I thank you for you efforts and doing what you do is simply great for swimmers like me and worldwide . for example after I trained very hard for very long time to cross the English Chanel last Sumer i had to cancel that so I can do something that was never done or even tryid before for mi birth country where is full of corruption and no equality and no much human rights. , I want to swim and unite the country help pure kids and stop the death of kids like in drowning bi highlighting the danger of one priticular river, so I swam from the north to the central of the country in 8 days for about 7 - 9 hr daily and I did the 238 km official but bi mi watch 267 .. I was extremely proud of what i acived and maybe i will do it again and again in till they will get mi mesage in that country...and I criticised the governaments and I got some thinks changed in there ,I spoke to tousends of kids about water swimming safety etc, all along the river in what's called Sumer camps and I hope :) I maid changes, but the point I'm making is that nobody recognised mi swim, nobody, I don't have a piss of paper to say that I did, the governament there didn't wana here about me any more :)) but ms Munatones did something I thought was nice. So God bless you all and keep and swimming the records are in our hearts and what we do for this beautiful world to change it for the better . Thank you Steven
  • johnyGjohnyG Dublin Ireland Member
    I forgot to mention the swim was in Moldova you can see it here some of mi swims

  • edited December 2013
    Great job! Very inspirational.

  • johnyGjohnyG Dublin Ireland Member
    I thank you Leprechaunturd...
  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited December 2013
    I don't know if I would challenge @Leonard_Jansen 's Church Rd to middle no-wake zone buoy RT world record, but can anyone confirm that no open water swim has been done while wearing a pink polka-dotted bathing suit? I am soooo going for that record. :)

    Serious congratulations to @johnyG, regardless of bathing suit colour. :)

  • johnyGjohnyG Dublin Ireland Member
    Thank you JenA ... I do think that will be some achievement with the polka-dotted suit :))
  • Or... does not finishing a swim qualify one for an award? I mean there's the 'ole college try" aspect but shouldn't awards be given to finishers? If everyone got an award for trying.. kind of takes the pi** out of those that actually finish I think.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited September 2015

    suziedods said:
    Or... does not finishing a swim qualify one for an award? I mean there's the 'ole college try" aspect but shouldn't awards be given to finishers? If everyone got an award for trying.. kind of takes the pi** out of those that actually finish I think.

    These truly are strange times we live in!

    On a related note, one of my favorite open water swimming memes:


  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    @suziedods said:
    Or... does not finishing a swim qualify one for an award? I mean there's the 'ole college try" aspect but shouldn't awards be given to finishers? If everyone got an award for trying.. kind of takes the pi** out of those that actually finish I think.

    I'd love to see an award for best attempt/best failure. Getting pulled 75 meters from Cap Griz Nez would be an obvious candidate. Not to encourage folks who are under-prepared to press beyond their boundaries, but for us as a community to acknowledge "You gave it all. Every last ounce of energy you could offer. We admire you."

    Swim success isn't always a great indicator of effort invested. Sometimes not finishing has nothing to do with training, mental status, or preparations... it's just luck, or Mother Nature having her way.

    We could call it the Black Knight award. ;-)

  • I understand the "best attempt/ failure" aspect. Been there. And as participants in nature ie "the ocean/sea/lake/river" we understand that no matter how well prepared ( or underprepared) one is does not guarantee success. And I do admire those who give it their all, don't make it and either say.. hey ya know what, it just wasn't my day.. or have another go.
    That is not what my reference is. Let's just leave it at that.No harm no foul.. Just food for thought.

  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    @suziedods, this reminds me of the hubbub recently by that NFL (?) player who took his kids' participation trophies back to the school/team/whatever. I agree!


    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member



    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Unlike Leonard, I haven't yet found a stretch of water that I can claim as my own for world record purposes. ;) Makes me think though of a friend who would report her hill workouts on Facebook at her favorite hill, not really used by anyone else (to her knowledge anyway). So she would say (not seriously), World Record time on my hill today!

    It would seem difficult, given the variability of water/weather conditions, to conceive of "world records" in o.w. swims, but always interesting to hear how fast/how far people have gone using established Channel rules. I think that gives future swimmers some kind of mark to aim for, if they choose--and gives the rest of us great pub conversation! :)

    I'm not as fast as Leonard, so aiming for a WR on the Blue Marsh Lake stretch is... a stretch.

    But maybe I can narrow the definition enough to find some niche: WR for 65+ y.o. female wearing black print TYR suit with gold MSF cap and living on my street. (Could pin down a few other details too if needed....) But ... no... I'm more interested in personal records. Let others have fun w/ WRs. :)

  • JenAJenA Charter Member
    edited July 2016

    I think the Guinness World Record guidelines are interesting...

    All Guinness World Records must also fulfil some key criteria including:

    • Measurable - Is it the fastest / longest / heaviest / most?
    • Breakable - Can the record be broken or repeated by someone else? All our record titles must be open to being challenged.
    • Standardizable - Can the record title be done universally? For example, it cannot be related to something restricted to a region.
    • Verifiable - Can the claim be proven? For example, a claim such as ‘the man who never drank water’, can never be verified unless the man spent his whole life from birth under surveillance by a witness.
    • One Variable – We can verify the Largest painting but would not consider the largest painting by the most people.
    • Universal - The proposal must be something, or about something that is known to the world’s majority. It cannot be too specific / regional.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member

    Speaking of @Leonard_Jansen...where are you?

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2017

    I've been reading Steve Walker's book on my Kindle ... many good tidbits on various topics, including this thread:

    Adam Kreek (Olympic rower) encapsulated the sport [of marathon swimming] well: "If you put enough qualifiers ahead of any sport name, anyone can be a champion."
    To that end, I'm ranked #1 in the world in ultra-marathon, cold water swimming done by balding CEOs over 45 in the Bay Area.

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    Can we see some documentation? :D

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