Open water orienteering

From Openwaterpedia

noun - Open water orienteering or open water scramble is swimming that requires navigation between randomly placed turn buoys or points in a natural or manmade open body of water. Open water orienteering can be competitive or non-competitive in nature and can be done in oceans, lakes, rivers, bays and reservoirs, performed for pleasure, adventure or fitness at any time of the day or night.

Open water orienteering is generally done with partners, teammates, competitors or with tour members as part of tours, along coastlines, in lakes or around islands, although it can be done anywhere. It can be done with or without equipment being towed along or transported from location to location.

General Rules

  • All swimmers must touch each turn buoy or marker on the course, either in the water or on land or a fixed structure such as a pier.
  • All swimmers or groups are given a specific sequence to touch each turn buoy or marker.
  • Each turn buoy or marker is clearly numbered.
  • The start and finish is preferably at one point on land, but can also be in the water.
  • Swimmers do not know their specific sequence until the morning of the event.


The team set up a 10 km open water orienteering swim in Castaic Lake.


open water scramble, Wild swimming, Open water swimming, Free swimming, Long distance swimming, Expedition swimming, Swim trekking, sea trekking


First used by Steven Munatones circa 1992 in Japan.

External links