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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Types of Open Water Swim Courses

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

There are 3 courses in the competitive pool swimming world: short course meters, long course meters and [the American] short course yards. The depth of the water and the number of lanes may differ; the types of starting block and finish pads may differ; the water temperatures may vary, but the distances from wall-to-wall are always 25 meters, 50 meters or 25 yards.

But it isn't so in the open water world where the variety of course shapes mirrors the variety of marine environments

There are all kinds of courses:

A geometric course is any triangular, rectangular or any other multi-side shape of an open water race or relay. It usually has the start and finish at the same point, but not always. The start and finish can be in the water or on land. It can also be referred to as a loop course.

A loop course is a course where swimmers compete around turn buoys in any geometric shape (e.g., triangular or rectangular or otherwise), generally starting and finishing at the same point which can be in on land or in the water at a fixed position.

In contrast, a point-to-point course or a linear course is an open water swim where swimmers start and finish at two separate points that can be on land or in the water at a fixed position.

A ship-to-shore course begins on a ship or boat or other type of marine vessel and ends on a nearby shoreline.

An out-and-back course is an open water swim where swimmers start onshore, head out to a point away from shore in a bay, ocean, sea, lake or estuary, and then return back to the finish at the same point where the swim started.

A bank-to-bank course or a shore-to-shore course starts on one bank (of a river or shore) and finishes on the opposite or other bank.

An island-to-island swim is a point-to-point swim from one island to another.

An offshore swim is a swim where a majority or all of the swim is located far offshore, away from a continent or mainland.

A coastal swim is an open water swim where most of the course is located along a coast or shoreline.

A transoceanic swim course is a stage swim or relay across one of the world's oceans.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
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