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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Rules Governing The Longest Swim By Ben Lecomte

Courtesy of WOWSA and The Longest Swim across Pacific Ocean.

Ben Lecomte will attempt an unprecedented transpacific stage swim from Japan to the United States across the Pacific Ocean.

The 51-year-old will start in Choshi, east of Tokyo, on the island of Honshu in Japan sometime in June and plans to swim in daily stages across the ocean in a unique scientific and research journey supported by dozens of physicians, scientists, researchers, technical staff and academics.

The proposed rules governing The Longest Swim are below that are being considered by Guinness World Records for the Longest Ocean Stage Swim:

Record definition
· This is for the longest solo journey made by swimming in the ocean with the following equipment that can be used any time and all the time while in the water:

(1) full-body wetsuit with connected neoprene hoodie or a separate neoprene swim cap
(2) snorkel
(3) fins of any length on both feet
(4) gloves on both hands
(5) kick board
(6) pull buoy
(7) GoPro or other camera
(8) audio transmitter
(9) ankle transponder or RadBand

· This record is to be attempted by a single individual in a continuous attempt.
· This record is measured in kilometers to the nearest 0.001 km, with the equivalent imperial measurement also given in miles.

Rules for Longest Ocean Stage Swim
1. This attempt must be undertaken under the auspices of a registered marathon swimming monitoring body such as either the Marathon Swimmer's Federation or the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA).
2. The challenger must register with the federating body in advance of the attempt.
3. The attempt must follow all rules as stipulated by the federating body.
4. It is essential that all start and finishing times in hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the straight-line tangent distance between the start and finish points, are recorded for each individual stage swim. A stage swim is defined as one consecutive, non-stop swim in the Pacific Ocean. This must be included in the evidence pack.

Rules for 'longest journey’ records:
a. This record is measured in kilometers to the nearest 0.001 km, with the equivalent imperial measurement also given in miles.
b. Note that no distinction will be made between supported (assisted) and unsupported (unassisted) journeys.
c. The journey must be tracked using accurate professional equipment e.g. a GPS tracking unit. A printout of the tracking data, including the start and finish location and the length of time in the water for each stage swim must be submitted.
d. Any route may be followed, but in keeping with the spirit of this record, the journey should follow a route between two pre-defined points (e.g., Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, Japan and San Francisco, California, USA) and should not, for instance, repeatedly cover the same ground or consist of an accumulation of shorter journeys made during the course of everyday life.
e. The journey must be continuous, with each leg of the journey beginning at the point at which the previous leg ended wherever practically possible in the Pacific Ocean. Boarding of the escort boat SV Discoverer or its accompanied RIBs may only be used between stage swims for rest, sleep, eating, moving into position for subsequent stage swims or in emergencies or media interviews. Details of these stops and breaks must be included with the record claim and the distances covered while on the escort boat do not count towards the record total. If the start of any stage swim is not the same as the finish of the previous stage swim, this information must be recorded and the reasons for the differences must be explained. Whenever practically possible, at least one stage swim should be attempted every 24 hours, although more than one stage swim can be done in any 24-hour period. If a stage swim cannot be safely attempted every 24-hour period, this information must be recorded and the reasons must be explained.
f. Breaks and stops may be made whenever desired. However, as a general rule, the participant must not remain stationary (i.e. if he/she does not make any progress towards his/her destination) for longer than 14 days. Any delays longer than this must have a very good reason (e.g. injury or storms or equipment or boat malfunction) and must be accounted for to Guinness World Records. Note that delays that cannot be reasonably justified may result in disqualification.

WITNESS REQUIREMENTS
• The role of an independent witness is to confirm that they observed the claimant undertaking the record attempt in the manner set out by the guidelines. Independent witnesses must be made aware of all specific guidelines in order to confirm that all have been adhered to. The support crew will provide the independent witnesses with the following information:

(1) GPS coordinates of the start and finish of each stage swim
(2) total duration of time of each stage swim
(3) total straight-line tangent distances between the start and finish points of each stage swim, and
(4) equipment worn or used during each stage swim on a daily basis via written communications (e.g., email). Video evidence of the swimmer in the water on a daily basis will also be provided as collaborative support evidence.

• A witness book must be made available for independent witnesses to sign. The book should be set up so that each witness includes their name, the location, the date and time, their signature and their email address or phone number. For an attempt which is supported by a backup team, we would expect it to be possible to gain sufficient numbers of independent witnesses to enable verification for the entire duration of the attempt. Where possible, local dignitaries and police should be sought to sign the book. This book will be signed by the escort crew members and three independent witnesses of the World Open Water Swimming Association.
• For solo and unsupported attempts, we appreciate that it might not be possible to gain an unbroken line of witnesses for the attempt, but one should try to obtain as many as possible.

LOG BOOK REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must complete a log book, giving a description of the event and details of the participant(s) daily/overall performances. It must be clear from the book the exact start and finish points of each leg of the attempt, the exact start and finish times and calculation of daily and total distances travelled. All rest breaks or stoppages for whatever reason must also be fully detailed in the log. Wherever possible, entries in the logbook should be signed and dated by independent witnesses along the route (e.g. hotel staff, police, shop owners etc.). Receipts for purchases and services and GPS coordinates of the start and finish of each stage swim as well as time and distance information and video evidence of the swimmer in the water and a description of the water temperatures and conditions (e.g., wind speed, wind direction, wave height, wave direction, existence of rain, lightning, fog, marine life, flotsam, jetsam) may also be collected as an additional form of proof.

PRE-APPROVAL
Please submit the following information prior to the record attempt to obtain approval of the proposed methods. Any attempts not pre-approved may be rejected if the process is not deemed acceptable.

1. Distance calculations: Details of how the distances have been calculated must be given before the attempt starts to ensure these measurements are correct.

Plans for pre-approval must be sent using the Correspondence function within your application. Attachments such as venue layouts can be uploaded via the Evidence function. You do not need to use the Submit Evidence button after uploading; as long as you write to us in Correspondence and make sure to save the changes to your application, the materials will appear for us to review.

Please make sure you supply the following evidence:

• One cover letter explaining the context of the record attempt. Please indicate date, time and exact location of the record verification. Also please provide full details of the person(s) attempting the record including name, age, nationality and background. You can use the template in the Guide to Your Evidence or prepare a different Cover Letter.
• A Witness book as described in “Witness Requirements”.
• A Log book as described above in “Log Book Requirements”.
• A GPS print out must be provided and .kml files (on a disc or USB flash drive) must be submitted.
• The entire attempt should be filmed in case further evidence is required. For times up to one hour, we expect the entire attempt to be submitted on video. For events longer than this, a 'highlights package' will be acceptable but must include the following points:

a) Footage of the start of the attempt;
b) Two minutes footage every hour. For events longer than 48 hours, 10 minutes footage per 24 hours will be acceptable;
c) The point at which the record is broken, and
d) The end of the attempt.

• Photographic evidence is compulsory evidence for all record attempts. Please provide dated photographs at recognizable landmarks if possible. High quality pictures will be considered for publication online and in the Guinness World Records book or related products.
• Media articles is not a compulsory evidence requirement but it will assist the claim if news coverage is obtained throughout the journey. If you have media coverage (newspaper, online, TV or radio) GWR please submit them as part of the evidence requirements.
• Schedule 2 should be signed by you when you are sending in evidence which you either own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use.
• If you include any photographs or video in your evidence which you do not own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use, then you must include Schedule 3.

Evidence checklist will include the following:

· Cover letter
· Witness log books
· Witness statements
· Log book
· GPS data (.kml files)
· Photographic evidence
· Video evidence
· Schedule 2 (signed)
· Schedule 3 (signed)
· Media articles

"There may be modifications and/or additions to these governing rules and background information prior to the start of the swim subject to input from experienced open water swimmers," said Steven Munatones.

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