Sea of Galilee Swim (Israel)

qingliqingli Member
edited August 2012 in Locations & Networking
Hello everyone! I am currently in Israel doing research and I decided to sign up for the Sept. 15th Sea of Galilee race. I was wondering if anyone else here has also done so. I would love to meet the open-water swimming community here.

We can grab a beer before/after!

Hope to meet some of you soon!

Qing Li


  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    I've done this many times. It's a beautiful swim, and it's basically a huge open water party in which thousands of people participate. There are two ways to do this: Swim the competitive race (1.5k, 3k, 6k) in a loop course, or swim the non-competitive race (1.5k or 3.5k) which is a linear course.

    If you take the first option, you'll be competing against a fairly small pool of people (last time I did the 6k there were 34 of us). The loop course is 1.5k long. The swim is early in the morning; the water is glassy flat - the chop only starts in the afternoon - and it's very warm. There are no feeding stations, so bring a gel or two with you, but it's a shortish distance so you wouldn't need it anyway.

    If you take the second option, you'll be arriving at the Tzemach beach and shuttled by bus to the entry point, then swimming to the exit point. It's lovely! The water is fresh and warm, and many, many people, including very young children, will be doing it. Along the way there are rafts with music.

    After the swim is over, you get to socialize and hang out with lots of athletes from all walks of life on the shore. It's a beautiful lake and an event brimming with positive energy.

    I can't compete in it this year because I'm swimming Gatorman in San Diego the week before, and flying to Israel in late October to do Three Seas, which are three 10k races on three consecutive days. But I would have loved to do it.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Also, qingly, the Israeli OW community has a facebook group - open water swimming in Israel - which you can join. Most discussions are in Hebrew, but you can ask a question in English. Lots of people meet for ocean swims in Tel Aviv in the morning, and if you go by the shoreline, you're usually safe going on your own. When I lived in Tel Aviv I worked out at Banana Beach every day.

    And if you like longer distances than the Kinneret Crossing, do consider joining Three Seas in Three Days!
  • Great! I'm looking forward to it! I think I signed up to do the 3k competitive. I didn't know there was the 6k option! Ahh well I'm probably not in shape enough to do the 6k anyways. I'm very excited to meet everyone though.

    I am definitely, very seriously, considering the Three Seas in Three Days swim. It looks like a fantastic swimming opportunity. I'm not quite sure the cost is do-able yet. I think its 800 shekels without transportation and lodging included? This is right? Have you done it in previous years?

    I will definitely join the facebook group!

    Niek, the date seems to be wrong on the website you attached. Isn't it the 15th of Sept?

    Thanks everyone!
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    The Kinneret Crossing is, indeed, on September 15.
    According to the Facebook group, there's no 6k option this year. 1.5 or 3 competitive, and 1.5 and 3.5 noncompetitive.

    800 Shekels (approx 200 dollars) is not a huge cost when you take into account that it covers three different races, for which they provide food - GU drinks and gels - as well as kayaks, boats, etc. But yeah, it means you'd have to take care of lodging myself. I stay with friends in the North and in the Center, and get a hotel in Eilat with family. But you can always opt for only doing one or two of the 10k races, if you like, and then the cost goes down.
  • hello
    There are several open water race and events in Israel during the following month.
    Emek Hefer
    Port to port 21/9 Tel Aviv
    I think The sea of Galilee swim is less atractive - water temp might be as high as 29 deg and the water are very unclear.
  • marlinmarlin Member
    Does anyone know have info. about the Sea of Galilee race for 2014?
    From what I could find online it's Sept. 20, but not much info. besides that, in English :)
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    edited July 2014
    More info:

    There are two courses, both noncompetitive - 3.5km (from Ma'agan Beach) and 1.5km (from Kibbutz Ha'On). Both end at Tzemach Beach. Registration is online, and then you take a print-out of your receipt to one of the stores on the website to receive a registration bracelet.

    You arrive in Tzemach Beach, which is the finish line and race expo location, with your registration bracelet on hand, and that gives you access to buses that take you to the two different starting locations. You can schlep some items with you, leave them in a bag with a number at the entrance point, and receive them at Tzemach beach. It's a lovely, lovely event - people of all ages and walks of life swim it, and they can rest on rafts that are placed along the way, sometimes with music played on them. Like a big swimming party!

    The event is noncompetitive; everyone gets a medal and has a great day. They used to have various competitive courses, but with the proliferation of competitive open water swims, I guess it paid off to keep it as what it is - a big, positive party.
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    (as an aside: if you're thinking of a longer swim and would like to try a solo widthwise, or even a lengthwise, crossing of the whole lake, message me and I'll be happy to assist and advise.)
  • I am swimming the length of the Sea of Galilee on 4 Sept. Are there any records of whom has previously swum and their times?
  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    Bil Welzien swam it in 10:23 in summer 2009.
    I swam it in 9:30 in winter 2013.
  • Thanks. Anyone know the record for the length? A few Israeli's completed in 7h05m in May this year. Just wondering if that is the fastest? I swim on 4 Sept.
  • Sarah4140Sarah4140 DenverMember
    edited July 2017

    heart said:
    (as an aside: if you're thinking of a longer swim and would like to try a solo widthwise, or even a lengthwise, crossing of the whole lake, message me and I'll be happy to assist and advise.)

    We are considering a trip to Israel in September of 2017 and I am interested in a swim in the Kinneret. Do you have any insights into any 2017 events or people I could contact to do a private crossing of some kind? Thanks in advance!

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