Documentation Requirements

MSF Documented Swim submissions should include a diverse portfolio of data and documentation, which provides a complete story and compelling evidence for the swim. See for numerous examples of well-documented swims.

Feel free to ask questions about route definition, rules, observers, GPS tracking, and other issues before the swim. It is OK to wait to submit the ratification request after the swim is complete.

Summary of Requirements

  • People
    • Swimmer biographical data (age, gender, nationality, city of residence)
    • Observer experience and qualifications
    • Support personnel: names and roles
  • Swim Parameters
    • Route definition including precise start, finish, and any intermediate locations (must be repeatable)
    • Statement of rules and conduct
  • Basic Facts of the Swim
    • Date and time of swim start and finish
    • Observer log - regular timestamped observations of water temp, air temp, wind speed, stroke rate, and other notes
    • Nutrition/feeding plan
    • Download MSF Observer Log: cover and sheets.
  • GPS Tracking Data - original, raw data from tracking device
  • Narrative account of swim by observer and/or swimmer
  • Photos and Video

See Documentation Template for full details.

The following types of swims are not eligible for ratification:

  • Swims assisted by nonstandard equipment, e.g., wetsuits and fins.
  • Non-repeatable swim routes or routes defined by non-permanent markers such as buoys.
  • Swims shorter than 10km, or multi-way swims where no individual segment is 10km+ (unless specifically approved by MSF).
  • Swims witnessed by a single person.
  • Swims governed by an existing local marathon swimming association.

Ratification Request

Significant time and effort goes into collecting, formatting, reviewing, and publishing Documented Swim reports. For this to be a sustainable project, we charge a swim ratification fee. This fee includes a commemorative printed GPS track map, and is refundable if the swim is not successful or not ratified.