Event sanction

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The purpose of the World Open Water Swimming Association is to support and promote open water swimming in all of its forms. The best way we can fulfill that mission is to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when swimmers come together for an organized event or competition.

WOWSA 10.1 – The WOWSA Sanction Application must be completed for each event.

WOWSA 10.2 – There are several benefits to receive a WOWSA sanction:

WOWSA 10.2.1 – WOWSA can refer you to an event insurance provider to protect the sponsors and race organization staff in the event of accident, injury of death to athletes, volunteers and staff.

WOWSA 10.2.2 – WOWSA will make our safety module available to up to organizers, officials, volunteers or medical staff. Additionally, for $10 per swimmer, you may offer your registrants the course, which includes a liability waiver.

WOWSA 10.2.3 – WOWSA will offer a free listing in the WOWSA event directory and event calendar.

WOWSA 10.2.4 – WOWSA will offer exclusive product discounts from FINIS and other products as they become available to the participants.

WOWSA 10.2.5 – WOWSA will include the results of all participants in a global database of open water swimmers.

WOWSA 10.2.6 – A certificate that acknowledges the event is a member in good standing with WOWSA.

WOWSA 10.3 – A WOWSA sanction for a world championship event is US$350 and US$250 for a non-world championship event. The cost does not include liability insurance, but it does include

WOWSA Pro membership for race directors and up to 5 race staff

Review of safety plan and course and planning documentation with expert recommendations

In-depth profile previewing the event prior to & recapping the event after in the Daily News of Open Water Swimming

If in the US, an introduction to a reliable and budget friendly insurance provider

Event organizers who wish to receive an official WOWSA Sanction must follow the WOWSA Rules & Regulations

WOWSA Event Sanction Process

Once you purchase Event Sanction, you will be directed to the Event Sanction Form

Planning Form

You will directed to a form to provide your safety plan, personnel and course map for review

Review Phase

  • WOWSA to provide feedback and recommendations
  • WOWSA to provide official sanction certificate
  • WOWSA to provide safety module
  • WOWSA to add event to the event calendar
  • WOWSA to profile the event in the Daily News of Open Water Swimming

Types of Swims Supported

  • Traditional open water swims
  • Traditional marathon swims
  • Traditional channel swims
  • Assisted open water swims with any kind of equipment (e.g., wetsuits, fins, hand paddles, neoprene caps, tow floats, MP3 players or audio equipment, flotation devices, snorkels), Garmin watches or navigational gear).
  • Downstream swims.
  • Whirlpool swims.
  • Circumnavigation swims.
  • Stage swims.
  • Transoceanic swims.
  • Non-escorted swims.
  • Adventure and wild swims.
  • High-altitude swims.
  • Cold water swims with or without equipment
  • Traditional relays
  • Assisted relays
  • Mass participation races
  • Professional marathon races
  • Charity swims or relays
  • Extreme or expedition swims
  • Dark or night swims
  • Perimeter swims
  • Tandem swims or group tandem swims
  • Low altitude swim
  • Contiguous or non-contiguous stage swim
  • Non-freestyle swim (e.g., butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, individual medley, sidestroke or combat stroke)

These swims can be held in any open body of water: oceans, seas, bays, rivers, fjords, estuaries, lochs, lakes, rowing basins, lidos, dams, reservoirs, canals, channels, coves, firths, sounds, straits, or harbors.

External Links