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Sea of Galilee Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Sea of Galilee Swim Start
Sea of Galilee Swim or the Speedo Sea of Galilee Swim

The Speedo Sea of Galilee International Open Water Swim (or the Speedo Sea of Galilee Swim or the Kinneret Crossing) is one of the world's largest open water swimming competitions. In 2014, it had over 12,000 participants. It has long been designated as one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims by the World Open Water Swimming Association (in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017).

Size of Competition

While marathon runs, participatory walks or road-running events are often the largest mass athletic competitions in many countries, Israel stands alone in the world's community. The Speedo Sea of Galilee International Open Water Swim is the largest amateur sports event in Israel and has been held 62 years. Held in the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) in northern Israel, the annual event commemorates the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and goes from Ein Gev to the finish in Tiberias.


In addition to the amateur heats of 500m and 1.5 km for religious Jewish people and swimming enthusiasts, there are four additional competitive heats. Swimmers in the amateur heats may depart anytime between 7-9 am:

Short amateur heat – From Maagan beach to Zemach beach – 1.5 km Long amateur heat – From Ha’on beach to Zemach beach – 3 km 6 km and 10 km marathon swim start on Zemach Beach. Only swimmers in these heats will be timed.


  • Kinneret Association of Municipalities
  • Israel Swimming Association
  • Tiberius Municipality
  • Ministry of Culture and Sport


The event is held in cooperation with Global Maccabi, Hapoel, and Guy Beach.


15 October 2016

Awards and Finish Celebration

Held on Guy Beach where each participant receives Speedo swimming goggles, a medal and other gifts from the Kinneret Association of Municipalities. Awards and medals are distributed to the competitors. Prize money for the winners of the 10 km Swim.


In a nod to safety for the thousands of athletes who participate in the event, insurance and an ergonometric test are required. Additionally, boats and rafts are stationed every a few hundred meters along the route. If swimmers get tired, they can climb onto the watercraft for a brief rest and continue when they are ready.


Because of the large crowds expected, a special bus service operates between 7-9 am to take swimmers from the check-in area at Zemach Beach to the starting points for the swim events at Maagan and Ha’on.


Name Ben-dror Ornit,

External links