Ireland Swim History Criteria

In the Ireland Swim History database, ILDSA will publish details of any historical swim fitting these criteria:

In other words, not in a pool.

While the ILDSA celebrates the success achieved by Irish swimmers in locations abroad, the Ireland Swim History focuses only on swims conducted in and around the island of Ireland.

The Marathon Swimmers’ Federation publish a set of rules that form a solid foundation for the spirit of marathon swimming. Some of the more important principles:

  • Swims should be, as far as possible, unaided. While this does not mean “no wetsuits”, other rules will apply – for example: no helpful contact with a boat or another person, and no rest stops on land (at least for a one-way swim).
  • Generally a ‘point-to-point’ or ‘A-B’ route is taken as a starting definition for a one-way swim. A swim may, however, follow a number of more complex routes – Multi-way, Multi-point, Circumnavigation, Stage.
  • Route distance will be published as the shortest possible line, regardless of the line and distance of the actual swim.

Swims submitted for publication in the History will need to demonstrate independent confirmation of the swim’s completion. This can take any one (or more…) of multiple forms – a statement from witnesses, a formal Observer’s Report, press cuttings.

“Mass start” events – often commercial – are administered by their own organisers, with results usually published on the organisers’ websites. ILDSA will, where possible, help to promote and celebrate these events by linking to the organisers’ websites, but will not attempt to republish their results.

The exception to this is the Irish Open Water Championships – 17km and 25km. This is ILDSA’s own event, held at Lough Erne since 1991. Results and records for this event are maintained and published by the ILDSA – see here.

Swims in the history will be categorised as “Marathon” or “Non-Marathon”.

Marathon Swims

ILDSA set these criteria for consideration as a marathon swim:

  • Solo swims, either ‘skins’ or wetsuit : minimum distance 10km
  • Relay swims, either ‘skins’ or wetsuit : minimum distance 20km

Note on “multi-point” or “multi-leg” swims (including “out and back”): to be considered a marathon swim, at least one leg of the swim needs to be 10km+.

Non-Marathon Swims: Pioneer, Landmark, Classic

Every swimmer knows that some swims may be challenging and noteworthy, even if they aren’t marathon distance (ask anyone who’s swum the 6km Rathlin Island route from Rue Point to Ballycastle). Non-marathon swims will be listed where they meet a definition of Pioneer, Landmark, or Classic. Swimmers are invited to submit non-marathon swims for consideration for this category, and the ILDSA committee will review each submission on an individual basis.

If you have an historical swim that meets the criteria outlined above that you would like to have recorded within the ILDSA website, please let us know and a member of the team will follow up with you. Either email [email protected] with a brief outline of your swim and contact details, or complete this short Google form.

Acknowledgements: ILDSA are indebted to the Marathon Swimmers’ Federation and ILDSA Life Member Ned Denison for their inspiration in drawing up these criteria.