Still Water Eight
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:
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
- Distance: 20.5 km or 12.7 miles
- Route: Lengthwise traverse of the lake
- Organization: Galilee Sea Marathon Swimming Association
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.
- What Is Open Water Swimming?
- Serbo Simeoni Swimming On High Across Lake Tahoe
- Michelle Macy Talks About Her Open Water Journey On WOWSA Live
- The New Stillwater 8
- Most Difficult Swims In The World - Southern Hemisphere
- Most Difficult Swims In The World - Northern Hemisphere
- America's Very Difficult Open Water Swims
- 10 Difficult Short Open Water Swims
- 40.2 Challenge Across Lake Taupo
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- Olympic 10K Marathon Swim round-up
- Marathon Swimming
- Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- I Got Stung
- World Marathon Swimming Association
- How Do You Define Open Water Swimming?
- Swimming From The Sun To The Moon
- Pat Gallant-Charette Going For Still Water 8
- Michelle Macy Enters International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame