With the 2016/17 Season awards having been announced just a few days ago, we’re ready to get back to the action and kick off the start of the 3rd season of the Global Swim Series!
A truly global series fortunately means no off-season so we’re all set to get going.

We have plenty of new races lined up for the 2017/18 season as well as our amazing variety of returning races in 29 countries.

On May 27th we have the first ever GSS Global Championships. The race will take place in Cancun, Mexico and will feature one of the most spectacular courses in the world. If beautiful tropical scenery and crystal clear waters weren’t enough, the route also takes swimmers over an amazing underwater museum. These championships technically were announced as part of the 2016/17 season but as the dates fell, the points swimmers earn will count towards the swimmer’s 2017/18 global rankings. The race is being run in conjunction with El Cruce. We’ll have plenty of coverage of that spectacular event coming up, so make sure to stay tuned for that.

This season will see a lot of familiar races return to the schedule as well as some very exciting new races to be added to the series. Some of these races we’ve previously announced and some brand new ones we’ll be announcing in the coming days!

With such a global race calendar now available it will be very interesting to see how the Global Rankings turn out this year. In the 1st year of GSS it was the Canadians who largely pulled ahead and last season it was the Irish who ended up dominating. With heavy competition now in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the USA plus some new possibly deep areas of competition like Spain, South Africa and the Caribbean it will be exciting to see who can get to the top of the rankings this season!

So whether you’re now a seasoned GSS Veteran or someone looking to get into open water swimming for the first time, there’s never been more great races in so many diverse locations!  We’re looking forward to another great year of amazing open water races around the globe and hope you are too!

Rule Changes

This year we’ll be making an important rule addition to our scoring system, the addition of “distance points.” The standard GSS point system of 50 participation points and a max of 50 points based on percentile placing will remain exactly as is, however this year we will be adding a reward for those of our swimmers who accomplish one of the several marathon swims on the GSS schedule.

The way it works is simple, for a GSS race that is over 10km a swimmer will gain 10 bonus points for each kilometer above 10km the race distance is. So for any swim 10km and under you get 0 distance points, but for a 20km swim you would earn an extra 100 points (20-10=10km x10points = 100points).

So for example say you compete in the 3.8km LOST Race and win, you could get something like: 50 participation points + 49.5 percentile points = 99.5 points. If you were to complete the 25km Rottnest Port to Pub swim and win you might get something like: 50 participation points + 48 percentile points + 150 distance points = 248 points.

This rule change is designed to reward swimmers who compete in the ultra-long GSS races. Many of these races have a much smaller field and therefore someone coming 5th completing a 20km swim might get the same amount of points as someone coming 200th in a 1km swim. We designed this change to even the playing field a little for our long distance swimmers. While 250 points (for a 25km) might seem like a lot for a single race keep in mind that the swimmer is still only getting 150 points more than a swimmer doing a 1km swim despite swimming 25x the distance.

Currently on the GSS schedule the only swims eligible for the GSS distance bonus points would be the following:
5 Islands Challenge (Samoa) – 24km -> (140 bonus points)
Kotlin Race (Russia) – 25km -> (150 bonus points)
FKCC Swim Around Key West (USA) – 20km -> (100 bonus points)
Swim Across the Sound (USA) – 25km -> (150 bonus points)
Nanaimo Ocean Swim (Canada) – 11km -> (10 bonus points)
Swim the Suck (USA) – 16km -> (60 bonus points)
Morocco Swim Trek (Morocco) – 30km -> (200 bonus points)
Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim (Australia) – 19.7km -> (100 bonus points)
Champions of the Channel (Australia) – 19.7km -> (100 bonus points)
Hotel Rottnest Port to Pub (Australia) – 20km, 25km -> (100/150 bonus points)
EMBRACE the Challenge (Canada) – 20km -> (100 bonus points)

Distance bonus points are rounded to the nearest km.  Please have a look at the Rules page for a full breakdown of all the other rules as well.