GSS LOGO COLOR2014 was the year of the “Canadian Open Water Swim Series” (COWSS) and 2015 will be the year of the “Global Swim Series”!

Last year a small group of open water enthusiasts, race directors and swimmers took an idea to bring together a handful of independent open water races in Canada for an inclusive Series.  We did, and it was a huge success!

About this time last year we had 3 races in the Series, The LOST Race – in Oakville, The Toronto Island Lake Swim – in Toronto and Bring on the Bay – in Ottawa.  By the end of the year there was over 15 races in the Series and several more that wanted to join for 2015.  There was even some inquiries from races from outside of Canada joining the Series!

So we got together again and came up with an even bolder idea than just having a “Canadian” Series, what if we invited races (and swimmers) from all over the globe to join in the Series?  How cool would that be!  So after a long and cold winter of hard work and planning we are proud to introduce: The Global Swim Series.

COWSS logoOur goal is to grow open water swimming around the world.  Plain and simple.  And with that we want to grow all the positive things that are associated with it, like: a common community of swimmers from countries around the globe, promote a healthy lifestyle, provide a competitive environment for swimmers, and of course, to have a little fun doing it.

The basic idea of GSS is to have new and existing open water races join the Series (see the “Sanctioning” tab for more details about how to get a race into the Series).  And after each race, the race directors will submit their photos, race report and results to us.  We will put the race reports and photos up for the rest of the swimming world to see, acting an official news source for all things GSS.  With the results, we will calculate points and rank swimmers from around the world and display them on the site as well!

For those who may not exactly be on the World Cup Swimming circuit (ie regular mortals), we have leveled the playing field by how we calculate the VDwinnerpoints.  You can earn up to 100 points per race that you swim.  Regardless of distance, wetsuit or non-wetsuit, male or female, or age group.  We give each swimmer 50 points just for participating.  The other 50 points being based on your percentile ranking in the race.  The great equalizer here is that the more races you swim, the more points you earn, and the higher your global ranking gets, allowing highly enthusiastic people to compete head to head with the highly talented.

And that is how we achieve our goal of growing open water swimming around the world.  We proved it last year.  There was a significant increase in the number of swimmers in the races included in the Canadian circuit.  Not to mention a creation a whole bunch of new races.  Our statistics showed that people really did travel from race to race to get more points, even across Canada!  Now we shift our focus and want to do the same with the rest of the globe!

To use the quote from the late, great Canadian Olympic gold medalist and World Record Holder, Victor Davis:  “Go big, or go Home!” and starting right here in 2015 we are going big, so come on out and be be a part of it!

Cheers,

Rob Kent

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