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Still Water Eight

From Openwaterpedia

noun - The Stillwater 8 (or informally Still Water 8 or Still Water Eight or Stillwater 8 Challenge) is a group of 8 marathon swims in lakes that is a goal of seriously-minded marathon swimmers who are focused on still-water marathon swims. Successful completion of these 8 marathon swims has never been recorded by a single individual.


It was first publicly announced by Michelle Macy in October 2011 and revised in February 2020.


Completion of the Still Water 8 can be recorded in three categories:

1. wetsuit
2. non-wetsuit (i.e., FINA approved swim suits)
3. channel-standard swimwear (i.e., traditional swimming briefs for men and no arm or leg coverage for women)

If the swimmer chooses to swim one of the Still Water 8 swims in a wetsuit, they would fall into the wetsuit category. Likewise if they swim in a FINA-approved swimsuit, they fall in that category. If they swim across all the lakes in channel-standard swimwear, then they fall into the channel-standard category. Every swim attempt must start and finish on dry land.

Revised 8 Lakes (February 2020)

1. Loch Ness, Scotland

  • Distance of 37 km or 23 miles
  • Water temperature averages 10°C or 50°F
  • Known for its deep black and chilling waters, many swimmers have been challenged by the inky depths and its famed mythical cryptozoological creature Nessie
  • Route: Fort Augustus - Loch End
  • Pilots: Loch Ness Swim
  • Swim authentication: MSF or BLDSA

2. Lake Zürich, Switzerland

  • Distance: 26.4 km or 16.4 miles
  • Water temperature averages between 19-24°C or 66.2 – 75.2°F or 19-24°C
  • This lake has an organized race that is recognized around the world
  • Route: From Rapperswil to Zurich
  • Organization/Race: Sri Chinmoy Races

3. Lake Tahoe, USA

  • Distance: 40.2 km or 24.9 miles
  • Water temperature: 10–14.4°C or 50–58°F
  • Difficult due to temperature and altitude
  • Route: Length of Tahoe
  • Organization + Ratifying Body: Lake Tahoe Marathon Swim Federation

4. Lake Taupo, New Zealand

  • Distance: 34 km or 21 miles
  • Water temperature: 11–23°C or 51–73°F
  • Located on the North Island of New Zealand, it is the largest lake in New Zealand
  • Route: Longest distance of the lake
  • Organization + Ratifying body: Cook Strait Swim

5. Lake Ontario, Canada

  • Distance: 51 km or 31.5 miles
  • Water temperature: variable in a matter of hours due to wind (10-22°C or 50–72°F)
  • Difficult swim due to unpredictable wind and currents
  • Route: Several different start and finish locations
  • Organizations + Ratifying body: Solo Swims of Ontario

6. Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

  • Route: Island of the Moon to Copacabana
  • Extremely challenging due to cold temperatures and at high altitude
  • Organizations + Ratifying body: Patagonia Swim

7. Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa

  • Distance: 23.5 km or 14.6 miles
  • Water temperatures: Warm year round
  • Difficult swim due to water temperature, logistics and wildlife
  • Route: Cape Ngombo to Senga Bay
  • Organization: Open Water Africa
  • Swim ratification: Marathon Swimmers Federation

8. Sea of Galilee, northwest Israel

Original 8 Lakes (October 2011)

1. Loch Ness (Scotland): 23 miles (37 km), water temperature averages 50°F (10°C) in season. Known for its deep black and chilling waters.
2. Windermere (England): 10.5 miles (16.9 km), water temperature can be as low as 55°F (13°C) in season. The largest natural lake in England.
3. Lake Zürich (Switzerland): 16.4 miles (26.4 km), water temperature 66.2–75.2°F (19-24°C). This lake has an annual international competition.
4. Lake Tahoe (USA): 21 miles (35.4 km), water temperature is 50–58°F (10–14.4°C). Difficult due to cool water and air temperatures and high altitude (6,225 ft or 1,897 m)
5. Lake Baikal (Russia): 7-10 miles (11-16 km) or blaze a course of equal or greater distance,water temperature can be as low as 50°F (10°C). The world’s oldest and deepest lake is also a UNISECO World Heritage Site.
6. Lake Taupo (New Zealand): 21 miles (34 km), water temperature 51–73°F (11–23°C). The largest lake in New Zealand is located on the North Island.
7. Lake Ontario (Canada): 31.5 miles (51 km), water temperatures are variable in a matter of hours due to wind, between 50–72°F (10-22°C). Difficult swim due to unpredictable wind and currents.
8. Lake Titicaca (Bolivia–Peru): Temperature is 56-58°F (13-14.5°C) and is highest lake in the Americas.


Still Water 8

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