Well, that’s officially a wrap for the 2018/19 season of the Global Swim Series. The 4th season of the GSS has been an exciting one in many ways.  There has been great competition around the world, as well as tremendous growth of the series throughout the season.  Taking place this season there were 102 GSS races in 30 different countries.  Many of which experienced record attendance, highlighting not only the growth of GSS but the enthusiasm for open water swimming worldwide!

The Season began back on May 1st 2018 and officially wrapped up yesterday, with the final race in Lido Key being held last weekend.

Sweden, Italy, Indonesia, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Netherlands and France all had their first appearances in the Global Swim Series this year. Many GSS races recorded record turnout.  Tens of thousands of swimmers from all corners of the globe took part in a GSS race this season, with several thousand competing in more than 2 GSS races.

The 4 major category winners will each receive a GSS prize to commemorate their incredible accomplishment and championship win. Their names will also be engraved on the prestigious Global Swim Series Trophy.  The GSS has also made a financial donation to Oceana.org on behalf of all our age group champions. As open water swimmers we feel we are all ambassadors for our precious oceans that we have a special value for and interest in.

So without any further ado, let’s announce our winners:

Male Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Jack McCullough

This category was a wild one, with the top 4 in the division earning over 1100 points.  It was an inspired battle all season between Jack McCullough of Ireland and Robert Landriault of Canada.  McCullough earned some big points early, while Landriault competed in GSS races in Canada, USA, Mexico, Barbados and St Kitts & Nevis to earn his.  Heading into the last weekend of the season both were within reach of top spot.  Both McCullough and Landriault traveled to Florida to compete in a final race head-to-head in the 11km marathon swim at the Swim Around Lido Key.  In an amazing finish, both to the GSS season and to the race, McCullough captured 1st place as Global Champion edging out Landriault by 3 seconds in the 11km race!

Female Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Megan Dodge 

Megan Dodge defends her title and becomes the 2nd ever back-to-back GSS Global Champion.  Dodge travelled to several different countries this year to earn her 1282.04 points, just breaking her point record from last year.  Dodge had a considerable lead on first, however Laura Tippett and the teenage Ella Crowe, both of New Zealand, put up impressive seasons to pick up 2nd & 3rd overall respectively.  Crowe’s 3rd place was also an extremely hard-won battle for the 19&U age group crown where she fended off Victoria Wyllie and Lauren Archer of Northern Ireland.  Wyllie finished only 4 points back and only 31 points separated the top 3 in that age group.

Male Non-Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Peter Cosseboom

This division offered diverse competition from around the world, with swimmers from New Zealand, Canada, Serbia and Ireland all in the top 10. Peter Cosseboom of New Zealand completed an epic season to capture first with 1051.35 points in 11 races.  His fellow countryman Stephen Moore placed 2nd, also in the 50-59 age group.  Cameron Blair logged a great year and finished 3rd.  Interestingly, 5 of the top 10 spots went to swimmers from Serbia this season!

Female Non-Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Ciara Doran 

Ciara Doran becomes continues her domination of this division. For the third year in a row she will be crowned a Global Champion.  In her usual style Doran controlled the lead early in the season and never gave it up.  She completed 14 races earning 1381.89 points.  That’s a 98.7 point average, showing how Doran ended up winning many of these individual races.  Lesley Dusevic of Canada came 2nd overall.  Dusevic has been competing in GSS races since the beginning and this year earned her first age group crown and 2nd overall in the division.  Fellow Canadian Susan Bryden Cromwell came 3rd, with last year’s 3rd place, Helen Adams of New Zealand finishing just behind her in 4th.

GSS Age Group Champions

The Global Swim Series breaks up our swimmers into 10 year age brackets as well, below we’re pleased to congratulate all of our GSS Age Group Champions!

We had a number of these age group champions also make their way into the record books by breaking their respective GSS age group point record.  We’re pleased to recognize the following swimmers on their record-breaking efforts!

GSS Championship Event Winners

This season was also the 2nd year we held a number of premium GSS Championship events, where swimmers could have a chance to take part in a truly world class event and compete for some extra GSS bragging rights. We’re happy to congratulate the winners of those events!

For full results of the Global Rankings or to look up where you finished off the season checkout the Global Rankings page.

Well done to all our GSS Global Champions, Age Group Champions and Championship Event winners! This is also the time of year we also like to give a special shoutout to thank the race directors, organizers and volunteers who put on all these incredible, challenging and fun events around the globe!  Your time, dedication and commitment to a fun and safe environment allowed tens of thousands of swimmers to create lasting open water swimming memories.

TIVUA ISLAND, FIJI – September 14, 2018 in Tivua Island, Fiji. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/ http://marktantrum.com)

Finally, and most importantly, we’d like to thank all the tens of thousands of swimmers who came out and took part in a GSS race this year. Every year it is truly amazing to see so many swimmers from all around the world from all different walks of life take part in this exciting and fun sport we all love.  Your drive for fun and adventure truly makes putting on the Global Swim Series fun every year!

We’re excited to build on the Global Swim Series in the upcoming year and have some exciting new ideas and improvements down the road.  We hope you’re ready for another year of open water swimming!

So whether you finished the year a global champion or completed your first race, we hope you continue to enjoy the sport of open water swimming, strive to achieve your goals and meet some interesting new friends along the way!  Congrats on a great season and good luck on the brand new 2019/2020 Global Swim Series Season kicking off officially today.

Happy Swimming!