Ice swim

From Openwaterpedia
Speedo Ice Swim Africa start, photo by Jacques Marais
Nuala Moore ice swimming in Russia inside the Arctic Circle
Molly Conroy training at the Conroy Pond for her ice mile at the 2015 Ireland Ice Swimming Championships. Photo by Paul McCambridge / MAC Visual Media
Locations of the Ice Sevens swims around the world, governed and ratified by the International Ice Swimming Association
Josef Köberl will attempt an Ice Mile at 3,216 meters (10,551 feet) within the glacier crevasse at the Nature Ice Palace on the Hintertux Glacier in Austria in water temperatures between -0.3°C and -1°C in July 2021

noun - An ice swim is a swim of at least one kilometer completed with standard channel swimming gear (porous, non-neoprene swimsuit that does not cover the shoulders or go below the upper leg with one swim cap and ear plugs but no wetsuit or technical swimsuit) in water temperature of 5°C (41°F) or less, as defined by the International Ice Swimming Association.

Standard channel swimming gear is deemed to be a non-neoprene swimsuit and swim cap. The material must not offer thermal protection or buoyancy and shall be not extend beyond the end of the shoulders or extend below where the upper leg meets the torso.

The Speedo Ice Swim Africa and the Antarctic Circle Ice Challenge are examples of ice swimming competitions.


Ice mile, extreme swim, Zero Ice Mile, Ice Zero

Ice Kilometers

The ice kilometer or ice kilometre is a 1 km ice swim conducted under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.

Ice Mile/Ice Swim Categories

  • Open water swim: ice swims performed in open bodies of water from Antarctica to Iceland
  • confined water swim: ice swims completed in a confined circuit where the shore is touching distance and the water is sheltered with tranquil conditions
  • lido/ice pool swim: ice swims where the route is a lane in a swimming pool or lido where the anxiety levels of the swimmers are reduced enormously

Winter Olympics

In 2011, Steven Munatones of the World Open Water Swimming Association proposed that an ice swimming competition of 1 kilometer in water temperatures 5°C (41°F) or less be added to the Winter Olympics.


WOWSA Voting

The International Ice Swimming Association was voted as the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year:


Ice Sevens Challenge

The Ice Sevens is the ice swimming equivalent of the Oceans Seven that requires a swimmer must complete an ice mile under standard ice swimming rules (i.e., no wetsuit and no neoprene hat) in the following locations. The swims must be ratified or recognized by the International Ice Swimming Association.

o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Europe
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Oceania
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Asia
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in North America
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in Africa
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any location in South America
o An Ice Mile swum below 5ºC (41ºF) in any Polar location at 60º south or below or 70º north or above

With one important caveat, one of the seven Ice Miles must be a documented Zero Ice Mile (defined as a solo mile swim performed at below 1ºC).

Jaimie Monahan

American ice swimmer Jaimie Monahan of New York completed the first documented Ice Sevens in history with the following Ice Miles:

  1. 1 in Europe on 2 April 2016 in Reykjavík, Iceland in 3.70°C water (3°C wind chill + 5.6°C air) in 35 minutes 0 seconds in the sea with 12 km/hr wind speed
  2. 2 in Asia (Ice Zero Mile) on 18 December 2016 in Tyumen, Russia in -0.03°C water (-31°C wind chill + air) in 30:20 in an ice pool cut into a frozen lake
  3. 3 in Africa on 13 February 2017 in Aguelmame Sidi Ali Lake, Morocco in 4.9°C water (-0.5°C wind chill + 3°C air) in 32:18 in a mountain lake with 14 km/hr wind speed
  4. 4 within Arctic Circle on 4 March 2017 in Mikkelvik Brygge, Karlsøy, Norway in 2.37°C water (-3.5°C air) in 32:09 in the sea with 4 km/hr wind speed
  5. 5 in North America on 9 March 2017 at M Street Beach, Boston, USA in 4.63°C water (6.1°C wind chill + 9°C air) in 26:16 in the sea with 20 km/hr wind speed
  6. 6 in Oceania on 15 May 2017 in Tasman Lake, Aoraki Mt. Cook, New Zealand in 2.37°C water (14°C air) in 26:44 in a glacier lake
  7. 7 in South America on 2 July 2017 in Ushuaia, Argentina in 4.76°C water (5.9°C air) in 29:05 in the Beagle Channel

Ice Mile Achievements

As of April 2019, there have been 469 Ice Miles officially completed and ratified by the International Ice Swimming Association including 153 in England, 63 in Ireland, 46 in South Africa, 41 in the USA, 34 in the Czech Republic, 20 in Germany, 18 in Wales, 11 in Scotland, 9 each in the Netherlands and Poland and Russia, 7 in Canada, 6 in New Zealand, 4 each in Austria and France, 3 each in Estonia and Slovakia, 2 each in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, and 1 each in Chile, China, Finland, Guernsey, India, Isle Of Man, Italy, Jersey, Moldova, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland by 321 individual ice swimmers.

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