Rules - Gibraltar Strait Swimming Association (ACNEG)

The Gibraltar Strait Swimming Association in accordance with the requirements of both, the Spanish and Moroccan Maritime Authorities, as well the particular regulations of this Association, based in the International Regulations, requires a series of points that should be fulfilled before and during the event.

Therefore, we request you to read attentively the instructions and advices which are described below. Beforehand, we thank you for your confidence in us and we hope that you finally achieve a happy crossing.


It is fundamental to contract an insurance policy, which will include the possibility of any accident and to cover any deterioration or loss of the swimmer’s goods from boarding time until the end of the event. This policy will be paid for by the swimmer himself/herself and it is advisable that the said insurance is extended to include the previous training days. The Association is not responsible for any incident or accident attributable to the swimmer. Any accident on the boats is coverage by our insurance policies, out of the boats the Association is not responsible for the consequences arising if they are not within our duties.

So that the Association accepts the follow-up and the control of the crossing, the swimmer must fill in the attached form, thereby fulfilling requirements demanded by the Local Maritime Authorities. Any mistake or nonfulfillment of such requirements may result in the no-authorization to accomplish the crossing or not be recognized by the Association after the event has finished, in the case where the crossing may have taken place without the above mentioned requirements.


1.- The arrival day to Spain should be notified at least two days beforehand to the Association President.

2.- The form as well as the attached documents should be sent to the Association when the application has been accepted and the swimmer confirm their presence to the cross, never after the 31th of January of the year of the cross, with the purpose of transacting the corresponding documents in according with the Spanish Maritime Authorities requirements.

3.- The swimmer will must deliver a recent medical certificate that certifies that he/she is in a perfect health conditions and that he/she not suffer any type of desease or fault that not prevent to realize a long open water swim. The above mentioned certificate must be signed by an official doctor or clinic and must contemplate all aspects of effort, urine and blood analysis, electro as well as general physical examination (height, weight, build...).

4.- The intake of any type of stimulants before and during the crossing is totally forbidden. In such cases the event will not be recognized.

5.- Bearing in mind that this is an arduous physical undertaking possibly involving cold water swimming with long exposure to the elements over a long distance, the Association is not responsible for any accident of the swimmer during the cross and not attributable to the Organization; any insurance (of casualty, accident or properties) will be paid for by the swimmer.

6.- The swimmer and his/her trainer must be able to communicate in Spanish or in English.

7.- The pilot, once crossing details have been checked, will be the person who takes the final decision concerning the swimmer’s safety.

8.- The swimmer and all the personnel must be carry their passports aboard.

9.- The crossing to swimmers under 16 years reached after the year of the crossing, is not permitted.

10.- In according with the Spanish Martime Authority, the crosses must start after the sunrise and finish before the sunset. Swimmers should know the basic rules for crossing the Strait, they are:

a) The crossing starts (after the sunrise) from the boat located at Tarifa Island and the swimmer must touch the rocks.

b) The crossing will end (before the sunset) at a natural point on the North African coast (Moroco or Spain) or, in the case where that may be a difficult point to access by the boats, when the event is considered to have been sufficiently carried out, touching land or entering in a natural bay if the sea conditions not assure the safety of swimmer.

c) The swimmer will not receive any external help whatsoever, neither will he be allowed to hold on to the boats. It will be admitted, as an exceptional case, to pick up him/her on board to avoid an imminent danger (proximity of merchant ship, presence of sea mammals and such).

d) The swimmer may wear:

If the swimmer wears neoprene or lycra will be included in other special list.

11 .- When the crossing is done in group (maximun 4), the swimmers should have the same characteristics and is not possible to separate more than 50 meters during the cross. In case of overcoming this distance the faster swimmers should wait the slower ones. If for any reason (sickness, vomiting, fatigue ...) one or more swimmers are delayed on several times the organization will be forced to withdraw for the success of the cross.

Specific Rules for crossing as a Relay

A.- The maximun number of swimmers are 4.

B.- Relay transitions will take place every 30 minutes, with each swimmer completing at least one leg of the relay. Only in round trip crossings can relay transitions take place every hour.

C.- No swimmer will be allowed food or water while swimming. He/she can logically eat and drink while on the boat.

D.- During relay transitions, the next swimmer must be in the water before the substituted swimmer can get on the boat.

E.- If a swimmer is unable to complete his leg of the relay and needs to be removed from the water, he/she will be immediately substituted by the next swimmer, and will not be included in the official list of those having completed the crossing.

F.- The arrival to the coast can do it the whole group in recognition of success.

FINAL Important Advice:

Due to the strong currents prevailing in the Strait is necessary to be a speed of 3 km/k or up. With less speed is difficult to ensure the cross.

It is important to give us any previous information about the health state of the swimmer in reference to health complaints that could cause a risk during the crossing; it would be very unpleasant to know (when the swimmer has been in the water for several hours) that he/she suffers from cardiac problems or that he/she is a diabetic. In principle, the crossing the Gibraltar Strait may seem simple but many swimmers have had to abandon due to the peculiar problems of the zone (currents, winds, fog and so on). Due to this, the happy outcome of the Gibraltar Strait crossing must be accompanied by a great dose of good luck.