SBCSA Rules - Other Regulations

If any of the following pre-swim requirements are not met, the SBCSA reserves the right to cancel the swim attempt (with refund of fees according to the schedule published in the Swim Application).

A. Sanction Applications

  1. A complete application package, along with requisite fees, must be received by the SBCSA at least 60 days before the swim attempt.
  2. Solo swimmers must demonstrate sufficient open water marathon swimming experience to justify their planned attempt. This information is provided in the “Swim History” section of the Solo Application.

B. Hiring an Escort Boat and Pilot

  1. It is solely the swimmer’s responsibility to arrange the dates, meeting times, and departure times with the escort boat and to communicate this information to the observer and support crew.
  2. The escort boat must be large enough to accommodate the swimmer, observer(s) and support crew. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to determine the boat has sufficient capacity before booking. Keep in mind, the swimmer counts toward this capacity even if he or she is in the water.
  3. The escort boat must be licensed with the U.S. Coast Guard, and a copy of this license must be on file with the SBCSA.
  4. According to the USCG “12 Hour Rule,” a commercial boat captain may not work for more than 12 of any 24 hours at sea, except in an emergency when life or property is endangered. If the escort pilot is a commercial captain, and the swim attempt may last more than 12 hours (dock to dock), it is the swimmer’s responsibility to ensure there is a second licensed captain aboard the vessel. Note: If the escort pilot is not a commercial boat captain, this rule does not apply.
  5. The boat pilot must be familiar with SBCSA rules. If a pilot has not escorted a SBCSA swim before, (s)he must confirm in writing that (s)he has read and understands the rules.

C. Observers

  1. The SBCSA will assign an observer to the swim attempt. Swimmers are not permitted to assign observers. A swimmer may request an observer, or request a change in observers, and the SBCSA may accommodate these requests at its discretion.
  2. Within three weeks of a Swim Application being accepted by the SBCSA, the swimmer (or relay) will receive an email identifying the assigned observer for the swim. The swimmer and observer(s) are expected to be in communication with each other at least 30 days before the swim attempt (contact information will be provided in the email).

D. Support Crew

  1. It is the swimmer’s responsibility to recruit a support crew capable of handling feedings, paddling, and other needs of the swimmer. The observer’s job is to observe only, not to act in a support capacity. If the support crew is more than two people, it is recommended to designate a crew chief.
  2. The minimum age for support crew is 14 years.

E. Navy Permits (if applicable)

  1. If the swim attempt involves San Clemente Island or San Nicolas Island, which are owned and operated by the U.S. Navy, it is the swimmer’s responsibility to secure permission from the Navy to land on the island. Written permission from the Navy must be on file with the SBCSA at least two weeks before the swim attempt. If it is not, the SBCSA will cancel the swim.
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