Documentation Requirements

MSF Documented Swim submissions should include a diverse portfolio of data and documentation, which provides a complete story and compelling evidence for the swim.

The following items are required for documentation submissions (unless specifically noted as "optional").

Swimmer Biographical Data

  • full name
  • age on date of swim
  • nationality
  • city & country of residence
  • previous marathon swims completed

Support Personnel

  • Names of everyone involved in the swim, and each of their roles.

Route Specification

Latitude/longitude coordinates and name/description of:

  • start location
  • finish location
  • all intermediate waypoints necessary to connect the start and finish via the shortest swimmable path


Swim Log completed by independent observer

  • Start time and date (include local time zone)
  • Finish time and date
  • Elapsed time of swim (hours, minutes, seconds)
  • Log of regular timestamped observations of:
    • GPS location (latitude, longitude) - satisfied by complete GPS tracking data
    • Stroke rate (strokes per minute)
    • Water temperature
    • Air temperature
    • Wind speed or force
    • Wave height
    • Subjective description of conditions
    • Other notable events (e.g., wildlife encounters)
  • Narrative account of swim. Optional but recommended.

The specific format of the Swim Log is left up to the observer, as long as the data requirements are fulfilled.

Please note: The Observer should not be the only witness to the swim, and should not be serving simultaneously as the swimmer's support crew.

GPS Tracking Data

Original/raw data from GPS tracking device such as a SPOT Tracker, Garmin watch, or smartphone app. Accepted data formats: GPX, TCX, CSV, KML. We recommend using at least two tracking devices simultaneously in case one fails.

Photos and Video

A representative collection of images and video footage, taken at various stages of the swim.

Swimmer Narrative

Swimmer's first-person account of swim planning & execution.
Optional but recommended.

Other Supporting Data

Optional but recommended.

  • Marine buoy readings during the timeframe of the swim (e.g., NOAA National Data Buoy Center).
  • Local tide and current predictions for the timeframe of the swim.
  • Media coverage of swim (newspaper articles, TV segments, etc.).