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Monday, October 29, 2012
How Many Channel Swimmers Are There In The World?
In subsequent articles, the World Open Water Swimming Association will estimate the number of marathon swimmers (inclusive of lake and river swims) as well as the number of wetsuit swimmers and open water swimmers in general. Its goal is to estimate the size of the total overall open water swimming market in the 162 countries where data on the sport is available.
A preliminary review of the major channel swimming governing bodies around the world led Open Water Source to estimate there were a minimum of 710 active channel swimmers in 2012 who made at least 942 attempts and 797 successes across waterways in oceans or seas or around/between islands during this year.
There were undoubtedly additional swimmers, attempts and successes but injuries, illnesses, broken plans, financial difficulties, operational/logistical changes, poor weather and myriad other problems (including lack of information) reduced the total documented number.
But this is the best guess estimate at this time. If readers have additional information, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. The breakdown is as follows:
Channel Swimming Association: 74 one-way attempts and 46 successes
3 two-way attempts with 3 one-way successes
1 three-way attempt with 1 two-way success
Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation: 81 one-way attempts and 50 successes
2 two-way attempts with 2 one-way successes
1 three-way attempt with 1 two-way success
Hawaiian Island Channels: 17 attempts and 17 successes
Auau Channel (2), Kaiwi Channel (5), Kalohi Channel (4), Kaulakahi Channel (3), Pailolo Channel (3)
North Channel: 4 attempts and 1 success (in a new route)
Catalina Channel: 30 attempts and 25 successes
Santa Barbara Channel: 19 attempts and 15 successes
Tsugaru Channel: 16 attempts and 7 successes
Strait of Gibraltar: 34 non-wetsuit successes and 66 wetsuit successes (unknown number of attempts)
Cook Strait: 10 attempts and 3 successes
Cape Long Distance Swimming Association: 99 successes (unknown number of attempts)
Robben Island – Blouberg (61), Robben Island – Blouberg Double (1), Robben Island – Blouberg Triple (1), Round Robben Island (1), Round Robben Island Double (1), Robben Island – 3AB (10), and Milnerton – Blouberg (24)
Farallon Islands Swimming Association: 3 attempts and 0 successes
Florida Strait: 2 attempts and 0 successes
Rottnest Channel Swim: 202 attempts and 187 successes
Key West (Florida):
Swim Around Key West: 67 attempts and 67 successes
FKCC Swim Around Key West: 41 attempts and 38 successes
Tampa Bay Marathon Swim: 16 attempts and 0 successes
Fiji Swims: 5 attempts and 5 successes
Cancun (FINA Grand Prix): 25 attempts and 25 successes
Capri-Napoli (FINA Grand Prix): 28 attempts and 21 successes
Palk Strait: 1 attempt and 1 success
Fastnet Rock (Ireland): 1 attempt and 1 success
Clean Half (Hong Kong): 9 attempts and 9 successes
Round Jersey: 6 successes (including 1 wetsuit)
Jersey-France: 2 successes
Cork Channel (3 km): 7 attempts and 7 successes
Malta-Gozo-Malta: 10 attempts and 9 successes
Gozo-Malta: 60 attempts and 49 successes
There are probably at least another 15 solo swims or charity swims (not including stage swims) across channels or around islands in the Pacific Ocean or Atlantic Ocean, as well as somewhere in the Caribbean Sea or Mediterranean Sea.
A list of 101 marathon swims (inclusive of lake and river swims) is posted here. An estimate of the size of the marathon swimming community will described in Part 2. The list above only includes sea and ocean swims of marathon distance.
The number of professional open water swimmers is posted here.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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