The Marathon Swimmers Federation

Posted by Scott Zornig, 9 January 2015

msf logoThe SBCSA is a proud supporter of the Marathon Swimmers Federation. In fact, not only has our organization endorsed the MSF, but each of our board members individually supports this wonderful organization.

Marathon swimming has been around for 140 years. Governing organizations such as the CCSF, CSA, NYC Swim, ILDSA and the SBCSA have helped maintain order in areas frequented by marathon swimmers. As marathon swimming increases in popularity, more people are pushing the boundaries, seeking new waters to explore and conquer. Prior to 2014, a governing body did not exist for swims done beyond the territories of these organizations.

Most swimmers closely follow “channel rules” when attempting a swim in outside waters, but a few have taken the liberty of setting and/or interpreting their own rules. These swimmers may have worn nonstandard apparel, drafted, called “timeouts,” or had physical contact during their events. These swims were not marathon swims, but rather “assisted” long distance endeavors. Unfortunately, many of these offenders took credit as if they had done a traditional marathon swim. They used the media to claim a record or a first.

MSF fills a void in marathon swimming as the organization provides guidelines for documenting, and rules for undertaking marathon swims in ungoverned waters. MSF also now provides a platform for submitting swim documentation for ratification. Recently a MSF review committee verified the documentation of seven impressive and unique marathon swims submitted through this platform.

These swims – such as Joe Locke’s Farallon Islands swim, Patti Bauernfeind and Kimberly Rutherford’s crossings of Monterey Bay, and Chloe McCardel’s new world record swim in the Bahamas – have the highest degree of credibility. These swims are universally accepted by the group which matters most: traditional marathon swimmers. Thanks to MSF, we now have a way of memorializing epic marathon swims, eliminating doubts and ensuring the endeavor withstands the test of time!


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