Monday, June 26, 2017

GSS North American Championships


Schedule of Events

  • 9:00 – Registration/check in opens, both distances
  • 10:30 – Race meeting for 1.5k
  • 11:00 – 1.5k START
  • 11:15 – Race meeting for 3.8k
  • 11:50 – 1.5k cut off
  • 12:00 – 3.8k START
  • 1:30-1:45 – Awards presentation for 1.5k & 3.8k

(See “Frequently Asked Questions” below too)

The Global Swim Series – North American Championship will be held on Sunday, September 4, 2016 at Woodbine Beach in Toronto, Canada.

Woodbine Beach is a very large, beautiful, sandy beach located in “the Beaches” (or the Beach) neighborhood of Toronto, only a 10 minute drive from the heart of downtown Toronto.  The race will be held on Labour Day weekend in Toronto, which means the Beaches will be packed with thousands of people coming down to enjoy the last days of summer and to watch some Championship swimming.woodbine beach

The Beaches is an incredible destination.  On top of being only a few minutes away from the heart of downtown and all that the big city has to offer, the Beaches is a fun, quaint and quirky neighborhood unto itself.  The main street in the Beaches is Queen Street, full of eclectic independent shops and top rated restaurants.  Like many beach towns, the Beaches has a laid back, artsy feel and a very welcoming atmosphere.  There is even a long history of swimming in the Beaches, as the picture of the crowded beach in 1934 shows and the picture of the historic Leuty Lifeguard Station which was built in 1920 and is still in use today.  Everything you could want from a beach town and perfect for open water swimmers!

The water itself is typically warm (around 70F – 74F, 21C – 24C).  There will be wetsuit and non-wetsuit categories. However, because the sheltered bay is quite shallow, there can often be some chop, which can still make for a challenging swim.  The distances offered will be 1.5k and 3.8k.  Also the races will be organized so that ambitious swimmers will be able to do both!  Not a lot of time in between, but some!

This location will make this a spectacular event and should be the perfect venue for a world-class open water Championship.  The Beaches, the neighborhood and the rest of Toronto also makes this an incredible destination location and great get-away weekend.

Here are 10 great reasons to register now:


1)  be able to say you swam the very first GSS Championship race!  You might have missed the first Hawaii Ironman or the first Boston Marathon, but you have a chance to be a part of history now!

2)  cool medals, official timing system, great t-shirt and lots of great swag included… for only $80! (early reg.)… try and find another Championship race in any sport for that price!

3) several thousand spectators!  September 4, 2016… last long weekend of summer at the Beach… it’ll be packed!

4)  two distances, 1.5k or 3.8k! (or both?!)

5)  qualify for the GSS Global Championship in Cancun, Mexico next April!

6)  register now! Only 300 spots available!  No qualifying race required (at least for the first year!)

7)  amazing new venue, Woodbine Beach, Toronto!  A spectacular world-class beach!

8)  race with some of the fastest swimmers in North America!  Your chance to race against Olympians, NCAA Champions, CIS Champions, Marathon Swimmers and Ironmen… and yes, regular people too!

9)  a great family event!  Sand castle building contest, raffle prizes and other fun activities… make a day of it!

10) see who will become the first “North American Champion” of the Largest Swim Series in the World!


Q – What will the water be like?Beaches, buoy placement
A – This is open water swimming, so you can get anything.  However, we have chosen this date because we often get very favorable conditions at this time of year.  Average water temperature is typically 70-74F or 21C-23C.  The swim area is quite shallow, which means you can stand up if needed
in many places (not disqualified, as long as you don’t walk forward), but because it is shallow it can sometimes be wavey too.

Q – Can we wear wetsuits?
A – Yes you can. We will have awards for fastest male & female in each event, and fastest in wetsuit or naked (non-wetsuit).

Q – Can I wear a pull buoy/tow buoy/ float?
A – Yes.

Q – I don’t want to swim, but I’d like to volunteer, or have a friend or family member that would like to volunteer?
A – Great!  We can always use a few more volunteers.  Please specify if they would like to volunteer on land, or on water (ie kayak or SUP). Click HERE.
Q – Can I switch races?
A – Yes.  Just make sure you notify registration.

Q – Can I switch from wetsuit division to naked division (or vice versa)?
A – Yes.  Just make sure you notify registration.

Q – Do I need to wear a swim cap?1.5k route
A – Swim caps that will be supplied MUST be worn. You will receive a great GSS – North American Championship cap when you register.   The caps are silicone, if you prefer latex, you can wear a double cap with the supplied race cap over top of another cap.

Q – Is there body markings?
A – Yes, your number will be written on your hands.  This will also be your “bag check” number.

Q – What happens if the event is cancelled due to water conditions, water temp, or lightening the day of? Will we get a refund?
A – Unfortunately there are no refunds. This is because all of our costs to host the race will have already been paid.

Q – How will you communicate to us in the unlikely event that the event is cancelled?
A – We will post a message in our Facebook page (, and send an email to all registered swimmers. We will also put up a message on our website at:

Q – Is there a time limit for the swims?
A – Yes, the 1.5k course has a limit of 50 minutes, and the long course 2 hours. After this time you will be asked to come out of the water, either to shore or into a boat/SUP.  The time limit is somewhat flexible, longer or shorter, depending on the weather conditions.

Q – How good a swimmer do you need to be?
A – We recommend you are a competitive swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete or experienced recreational swimmer. You should be able to complete the distance quite comfortably in a pool, as it is usually a tougher 3.8k routeswim in the open water.

Q – Is there an age limit?
A – Yes, for insurance reasons you must be 16 years old to swim.

Q – When does the swim take place?
A – The first event is the 1.5 km, and that will start at 11:00 am. The second event is the 3.8 km swim and that will start at 12:00 am (noon).

Q – What is the “GSS Double?
A – It is when a single swimmer swims both the 1.5k race AND the 3.8k race… back-to-back!  You must register for the GSS Double (a discount is given versus registering for both races).  The same start times and cut off times apply!

Q – When does registration open?
A – Registration starts at 9:00am, at the start/finish area.

Q – Where can we park?
A – You are on your own for parking. There are parking lots along Lakeshore.  There is also street parking, the townhouses are the closest area to our location on the beach.  If you arrive early, parking will be much easier.

Q – Where do we register for the event?
A – We will have a baggage check station on the beach where you can check your extra clothing and shoes. You will be given a registration number and it will be drawn on your bathing cap. This number will allow you to retrieve your items at the baggage check-in. – See more at:

Q – Where do we change for the event?
A – There is change-rooms near the beach at the nice, new “Bathing Station”.

Q – Where do we store our stuff while we are swimming?
A – There will be a bag check station near the registration.  Your body marking number will also be your bag check number.

Q – Is there race day registration?
A – Yes, you can register and pay cash only at registration.

GSS North American Championships

2016 Podium Results

3.8km Results

 Bob Hayes

Stuart Lochray

Trevor Connors

Jennifer Button

Leslie Carter

Amy Ross

Enmanuel Mujica

Fabian Cazzola

Bud Seawright

Kristen Marchant

Lesley Dusevic

Lisa Neidrauer

GSS North American Championships

Quick Facts

Date: Sunday, August 27, 2017

Location: Toronto, Canada

Distance: 1.5km, 3.8km

Type: Lake Swim