The third season of the Global Swim Series has officially drawn to a close and this year has been one to remember. Not only was this year the most successful GSS season by about any comparison, but it was an exciting competition that came right down to the wire, with a couple of the Global Champions being decided in the final weekend!

The Season began back on May 1st 2017 and officially wrapped up today (though the final races were last weekend). During that time there were 88 incredible races in 35 different countries all over the globe.


Many GSS races recorded record turnout. Turks & Caicos, Croatia, England, Philippines and Cyprus all had their first appearances in the Global Swim Series this year! Tens of thousands of swimmers from all corners of the globe took part in a GSS race this season.

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

Male Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Francie McAlinden 

This category was a tight 3 man race for much of the year. In the latter part of the season the New Zealanders played catch up and quickly rose up the ranks but in the end couldn’t quite catch up to the 3 Irishmen who held on to the podium. Francie McAlinden took the Global Champion title after taking a strategic trip to Greece along with Stephen Archer who finished third. The pair had 1217.20 and 1108.75 points respectively. Sandwiched in between the two Peter Wilson had an impressive year and ended up 2nd with 1144.68 points.

To show how competitive this category has gotten, the top 11 swimmers in the division all beat the overall points record set last year by Paul Magill.

Female Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Megan Dodge 

This was a category that was close all season and ultimately came down to the final weekend. It was a neck and neck competition all season long between the teenager Lauren Archer of Ireland and Megan Dodge from Canada. Both benefited from a variety of local races but also traveled to gain extra points as well. Archer made a late season trip to Greece where she grabbed a lead that held until the very last weekend of the season when Dodge completed the Riviera Nayarit Open Water Swim in Mexico to earn an extra 88 points which launched her to the title of Female Wetsuit Global Champion.  Jenny Stark of New Zealand had an impressive season and was rewarded with third place finish, with 904 points.

Male Non-Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Colin Lindsay 

This division was another tight one, right down to the wire, with swimmers racking up some serious travel miles and the title being decided in the final weekend. Colin Lindsay of Ireland will take home the title of GSS Global Champion with a new record in this division of 1171.71 points. He bested Michael Kenny of Canada who came 2nd and Diego Lopez of Spain who came third. Lopez, who is in the midst of a global journey to complete a race on every continent over the course of a calendar year, ran into some tough luck when, due to storm-like winds, the Port to Pub swim in Perth, Australia was called off midway through the race. This cost him some big points.

Colin Lindsay on the other hand, impressively was able to put up his almost 1200 points without a single distance bonus point. He had a huge swim on the last weekend of the season at the Riviera Nayarit Open Water Swim, where he racked up 92 points to secure the victory.

Female Non-Wetsuit Division

GSS Global Champion:  Ciara Doran 

Ciara Doran becomes the first person to win back-to-back GSS titles. Once again, she did so in absolutely dominating fashion. The Irish teenager Doran completed 15 races and amassed 1481 points, smashing her previous record of 1185 from last year. This represents the most points ever won in the Global Swim Series to date. She won by a whopping 620 points over an also very impressive season by fellow Irish teenager Eaodaoin O’Raw who finished 2nd overall. Helen Adams of New Zealand came 3rd. You may recall we highlighted Helen Adams as a swimmer to look out for way back in January when she was sitting back in 42nd spot.

Equally impressive to Ciara Doran’s overall point total was that she also finished at or near the top spot in all the races she competed in. Congratulations to Ciara Doran!

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!

Legend: Gold denotes overall GSS Champion, green text = New GSS Record, Bold = New GSS Age Group Record.  

GSS Championship Event Winners

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

Global Championships

Cancun, Mexico – May 27, 2017

Luis Escobar 
Brena Valadez Alvarado 
Christopher Alexander Robinson 
Andrea Soler Lopez 

GSS European Championships

Morbisch, Austria – June 21st, 2017

Vito Vodenik 
Linda Ungerbock 
Matthias Schweinzer 
Petra Juhasz 

North American Championships

Islamorada, FL, USA – September 23rd, 2017

Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma

GSS South East Asian Championships

Subic Bay, Philippines – November 19th, 2017

Darren Julian Sanchez 
Heather Colleen Sanguyo 
Jhad Mattheus Macatangay 
Jewelle Mae Macatangay 
Anfer Duke Tagao 
Gladys De Leon 

GSS African Championships

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa – February 10-11, 2018

Kirill Abrosimov 
Ashley Twichell 

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! We’d also like to take a moment 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, competitive and safe environment allowed tens of thousands of swimmers to create lasting open water swimming memories.

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. Your participation, willingness for adventure and support of the sport of open water swimming is what makes this possible. The Global Swim Series is, at it’s core, all about participating in and furthering the sport of open water swimming in a fun and competitive way.

So whether you did 15 races last season or completed your very first open water swim, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you do even better in achieving your open water goals in the upcoming season of the Global Swim Series!

We will be launching the brand new season of the Global Swim Series tomorrow, on May 1st.  Stay tuned for an even bigger and better year to come!


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