Bermuda Open Water Swimming Ltd.
Bermuda Four Corners Challenge
The Bermuda Four Corners Challenge is a series of 4-mile swims in Bermuda that are held without safety boats, buoys or route markers in scenic, but less commonly swum, parts of Bermuda that was created by Mike Cash. The Bermuda Four Corners Challenge includes Fair or Foul Four Milers.
Without accepting risk, we miss the greatest of rewards. In every swim you undertake, there is a risk of injury or death. Evaluate the risk of a swim and if you conclude that the reward of the experience outweighs the risk you are accepting, then cherish the experience and don’t complain if anything goes wrong. Never confuse a bad outcome with a bad decision! The key to this ethos, and how it applies to open water swimming, is understanding when the risk is too significant – only the individual can evaluate that for themselves.
Bermuda is a fabulous place for open water swimming, and many swimmers, both locals and visitors, enjoy the beauty offered by the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the year informal groups meet and do open water swims without safety boats, buoys or route markers. The swimmers make their own decisions regarding safety, and understand and accept the consequences of accident, injury or other adverse circumstances. Freedom from the need to coordinate the safety aspects, and willingness of the participants to accept the consequential risk, allows material flexibility in which locations can be swum, and creates wonderful opportunities to relish the exquisiteness of nature.
There are a variety of more formal local events each year. A primary focus of those events is safety of the participants. To facilitate safety, organizers generally require a sheltered location and material boat support – this results in most formal events being unable to take advantage of some of the more beautiful but also more exposed / less accessible locations around the island. Additionally, poor weather conditions can lead organizers to cancel, postpone, or modify swim routes to cater to safety interests of all participants.
The Bermuda Four Corners Challenge has a different focus – it will follow the approach of the informal swim groups as opposed to the formal events which place a premium on organizers making safety decisions for the participants. It should be assumed that there will be no safety boats, buoys or route markers, though if circumstances and conditions permit, one or more of those may be available to aid the participants. The benefit of the simplicity is that it enables the event to use four distinct routes along very scenic, but less commonly swum, parts of the island. The Bermuda Four Corners Challenge is made up of four separate swims (each a Fair or Foul Four Miler), around the NE, NW, SE, and SW parts of the island. Each Fair or Foul Four Miler represents an individual four mile course offering beautiful scenery but with materially more risk than a swim in an enclosed body of water.
A swimmer completing all four of the Fair or Foul Four Milers will have completed the Bermuda Four Corners Challenge.
The trade off to the beauty of the four routes is that each is far less accessible than a swim on an enclosed body of water. With no safety support the swimmers assume materially more risk than in safety focused, enclosed water events.
Fair or Foul Four Milers
Each year, two of the four Fair or Foul Four Miler routes will be swum. In odd years the SW and NE routes will be swum, and in even years the NW and SE routes will be swum. While weather and wind patterns can change from day to day, the pairing of the routes is intended to increase the likelihood that at least one of the routes each year should have some shelter from the prevailing winds. Regardless of weather conditions, each swim will occur at the designated date/time.
The swims will be held on consecutive days over a weekend. This is intended to allow swimmers (especially those attending from overseas) the option of selecting either of the two swims over the weekend, or doubling down with both and completing half of the Bermuda Four Corners Challenge in the weekend. The sea surface temperature by the date of the swims should be approximately 22C / 72F, hopefully warm enough for most potential participants, but also at a time when peak boating season has not yet started.
Drink / Feed Stations
There will be no drink or feed stations along the route. If swimmer wishes to drink or eat along the route they are solely responsible for providing and coordinating it.
Check in points
There will be no check in points along the route.