Prepare to discover an open water swimming series which includes everything from world class races to exotic swimming adventures.

MidMar Mile


FINIS, SwimTrek and Ocean Recovery Alliance present a new global open water swimming series called the World Open Water Swimming Series.  The 13-race series spans Africa, North America, South America, Asia and Europe and includes some of the world’s most innovative, enjoyable, beautiful and signature open water swimming competitions.


Interactive World Map

Access events geographically.


Series Events

  1. Cold Half Extreme Marathon Swim
    (Hong Kong)
    Race director Doug Woodring
  2. aQuellé Midmar Mile
    (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)
    February.  Race Director: Wayne Riddin
  3. Miami Mile
    (Miami, Florida, U.S.A.)
    April.  Race Director: Jonathan Strauss
  4. El Cruce
    (Cancún, Mexico)
    May.  Race Director: Rafael Hernández
  5. Swim Challenge Cascais
    (Cascais, Portugal)
    Race director Jorge Paulo Pereira
  6. Jax Sheko Challenge
    (Hong Kong)
    July.  Race Director: Doug Woodring
  7. Henley Mile
    (Henley-on-the-Thames, United Kingdom)
    July. Race Director: Tom Kean
  8. Vibes & Scribes Lee Swim
    (Cork, Ireland)
    July. Race director Joe Donnelly
  9. Hellespont and Dardanelles Swim
    August. Race Director: Simon Murie
  10. Aichi Crossing
    (Nagoya, Japan)
    August.  Race Director: Yutaka Shinozaki
  11. BCT Gdynia Marathon – Open
    August.  Race Director: Tomasz Pąchalski
  12. Waikiki Roughwater Swim
    (Oahu, Hawaii)
    September. Race Director: Kaia Hedlund
  13. Swim The Island
    October.  Race Director: Matteo Testa
  14. The Five
    (Hong Kong)
    November.  Race Director: Doug Woodring
  15. King and Queen of the Sea
    (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    December. Race Director: Pedro Rego Monteiro
  16. Stroke for Egypt
    (Red Sea, Egypt)
    December. Race Coordinator: Mohamed Marouf
Jax Sheko Challenge


The World Open Water Swimming Series offers a global network of races that attract swimmers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds from Olympians and professional marathon swimmers to disabled athletes and people who just started the sport.  The World Open Water Swimming Series offers a global ranking system for people of every age group and encourages both race organisations and athletes to be responsible global stewards of the world’s open bodies of water.

, SwimTrek, Ocean Recovery Alliance, WOWSA

World Open Water Swimming Association


  • Organize a world-class series of international open water swimming competitions
  • Encourage participation in the open water swimming races for people of all ages and abilities
  • Establish a global ranking system for swimmers of all ages, abilities and background
  • Share the proceeds of the series corporate sponsorship among the events

WOWSA offers event sanctioning and U.S.-based race insurance, coaching certification, and annual global awards (World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and World Open Water Offering of the Year), as well as conducts the annual International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and annual Global Open Water Swimming Conference.

WOWSA members also receive access to the Open Water Swimming Magazine (published monthly by WOWSA in digital format) and the Open Water Swimming Almanac (published annually by WOWSA in digital format).


Questions, comments or suggestions?

Swim The Island (Italy)

Ranking System

  • The global ranking system shall be maintained for the following age-group divisions: Under 10 years, 11-12 years, 13-14 years, 15-16 years, 17-18 years, 19-24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years, 35-39 years, 40-44 years, 45-49 years, 50-54 years, 55-59 years, 60-64 years, 65-69 years, 70-74 years, 75-79 years, 80-84 years, 85-89 years, 90-94 years, 95-99 years, 100+ years
  • A global ranking system shall be maintained based on 3 parameters: (race record) + (participation in each race) + (category finish position)
  • The ranking system shall be calculated based on the points:
    • 250 points shall be given for a new race record (male or female)
    • 25 points shall be given for participation in each race in your own country
    • 100 points shall be given for participation in each race outside your own country


100 points
90 points
80 points
70 points
60 points
50 points
40 points
30 points
20 points
10 points

Stroke for Egypt

Stroke for Egypt Swimming in the Red Sea... READ MORE

Jax Sheko Challenge


Jax Sheko Challenge displays their appreciation for WOWSS from Hong Kong, China.



WOWSS Patrons

The World Open Water Swimming Series is pleased to share the insight and vision of its patrons.



WOWSA: Open Water Swimming Safety

Please select from the options below:

You may also download the presentation in PDF and PowerPoint formats for live presentations:
PDF Format | PowerPoint

Find all this and more inside of the
WOWSA Members Area.


FINIS: The Story

Founded in 1993 in Northern California, FINIS was founded by John Mix and Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer Pablo Morales. Understanding that improving one's technique is the secret to swimming faster and enjoying the sport more, the duo went on to introduce truly innovative tools to the swimming community. Many of these products are currently used by US and international Olympic teams, elite Triathletes, and fitness swimmers worldwide.


SwimTrek.com: Swimming Adventure Holidays

It all started back in 2000 when SwimTrek’s founder, Simon Murie wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday.  He took himself off to Turkey to attempt to cross the fabled Hellespont which divides Europe from Asia and was made famous in Greek mythology by Hero & Leander and later by the poet Byron. What with this area being heavily militarised, it took Simon almost a week to get all the permissions in place and just over an hour to actually swim it! This huge imbalance between administration and swimming gave Simon the idea that there surely must be other swimmers who want to do all these great swims but don’t have the time to organise everything. Hence SwimTrek created a new branch of activity travel.


Doug Woodring: Ocean Recovery Alliance

The focus of Ocean Recovery Alliance is to bring together new ways of thinking, technologies, creativity and collaborations in order to introduce innovative projects and initiatives that will help improve our ocean environment.  This includes creating business opportunities for local communities when applicable, in order to address some of the pressing issues that our ocean faces today.