Rules and Regulations

Before you register

Swimming speed

The currents in the Öresund can be fickle, mischievous and strong at times. Therefore, a swimming speed of at least 3 km/h is required for solo and group swimmers. For relay swimmers, a swimming speed of 2.5 km/h is required.

Support onboard the boat

Make sure you have at least one person who can travel with you during the given period. It is important that there is at least one support person on the boat during the crossing, regardless of whether you are swimming solo or in a group. If several crossings are swum in a row, there must be at least two support people on the boat. The support person must take care of the swimmer’s well-being, energy intake and other various needs.

Communication and language

The swimmer and other companions participating in the crossing must be able to communicate in Danish or English.

Swim application 'CUT OFF' date

The registration form and a photocopy of your current valid passport must be sent together, and be in the hands of SwimÖresund no later than 1. maj of the year in which you are swimming.


Own risk

By registering, swimmers confirm that they agree that participation is entirely at their own risk and responsibility.

Have your insurances in order

It is the responsibility of the individual swimmer and their companions to insure themselves against the risks that may arise during the crossing on board the boat and in the water.

Medical certificate

SwimÖresund follows the international standards in marathon swimming. A medical certificate is therefore a requirement. The medical certificate must document that the swimmer is in good health and does not suffer from any kind of illness or other limitations that prevent the swimmer from completing the crossing. For safety reasons, the health certificate must be issued as close to the swimming window as possible, however four weeks before at the earliest.

The health certificate must be issued four weeks at the earliest and one week at the latest before your swimming window. Please forward the health certificate to [email protected]

Remember your passport

It is important that you and your companions bring your passports with you on the swim. Everyone must be able to confirm their identity to both Danish and Swedish authorities, as controls on the water may occur. In addition, your identity must be able to be confirmed to SwimÖresund’s observer.

Laws and regulations in Denmark and Sweden

Both Denmark and Sweden each have their own laws and regulations. SwimÖresund assumes that swimmers who register agree that there may be orders from Danish or Swedish authorities respectively that may affect the crossing.


Recognition of Swim
With the help of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). SwimÖresund solo swimming, relay and groups operate under the following approved rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, policies and definitions, as set forth in this document.

For a swim to be officially recognized. WOWSA and SwimÖresund Sanctioning require compliance with rules and regulations. The Swimming Health Committee will not ratify a swim if any rules are not followed.

SwimÖresund may not observe or recognize any marathon swimming of swimmers under the age of 18.

Types of crosses

* Without neoprene
* With neoprene

* Solo

* One way
* Two-way

Solo swimmer
Standard swimwear and equipment

Swimwear made of tight-fitting porous textile material. The swimwear must therefore not be made of neoprene or have other buoyancy. Men are allowed to wear swimming trunks that do not go below the groin and above the waist. Women are allowed to wear a swimsuit that does not go beyond the groin and ends with shoulder straps.

A shower cap made of latex or silicone. Neoprene and bubble caps are not allowed.

Goggles and earplugs

Swimming under the category wetsuit (neoprene)

In addition to approved standard swimwear, you can add a wetsuit with a maximum thickness of 5 mm. The wetsuit must not go beyond your ankles and wrists and must end at your shoulders.

Nota bene

Remember at least two illuminations for night swimming.

No floatation devices, propulsion aids, protective swimwear or full-length swimwear are allowed.

General rules

The SwimÖresund swim should be from coast to coast. Swimmers start and finish on land with no water behind. The soil must be part of a naturally occurring continuous part of the coast. Stopping at a pier or man-made pier is not permitted.

No physical contact with the swimmer may be made by any person, escort craft or other objects (fixed or floating).

It is allowed to train and give instructions from the swimmers representative.

Swimmers can be provided with fuel (food) and hydration (drink) by their crew or trainer from a follow-up boat. The fuel and hydration can be supplied via a feeding stick or water bottle on a rope.

Swimmers must be allowed to use skin lubrication or other such substances on the skin, provided that the substances do not serve to retain body heat. Lanolin, petroleum jelly, fat and other such substances are allowed. Check if the pilot accepts it.

A tempo swimmer is allowed, but swimmers cannot draft a tempo swimmer. A tempo swimmer is not allowed for the first two hours of swimming and then only every two hours. The tempo swimmer is allowed to wear a wetsuit.

Drafting behind a follow boat on a solo swim, relay, or group is not allowed. Swimming close next to a follow boat is permitted as long as the safety of the swimmers is maintained.

The escort boat must attempt to maintain a constant position to station the swimmer at or in front of the hub of the escort boat.

Swimmers can swim any style: any type of front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke or butterfly, or any combination thereof (freestyle). The swimming styles must comply with FINA’s rules.

Multiple crossings
A crossbreed with several crosses must comply with the rules of single crossing.

On a two- or three-way or multiple crossing, the swimmer must completely clear the waterline at all stops. Swimmers can rest, sit or stand on land for up to 10 minutes while accepting fuel, hydration or skin lubrication from another person. It is not allowed to walk down the coastline.

Each leg counts as a single cross in identical crossings.

The first leg will be timed from takeoff to touching dry land. The second leg is timed immediately thereafter (i.e. the rest time between the legs is incorporated into the other leg).

The relays must comply with the rules of single crossing.

The baton must have a team leader appointed. It is the responsibility of the team leader to keep his team fully informed and make sure that the medical forms are filled out.

The relay must consist of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 swimmers.

SwimÖresund must recognize only men, only women and mixed categories. If a swimmer is in a wetsuit, it should be considered a neoprene swim.

Each swimmer must swim for one hour each time he/she enters the water. This duration is called a leg.

Upon receipt of a time signal, the switch to the new swimmer should be made as soon as practicable (within one minute) after the previous swimmer has completed his leg. In the exchange, the new swimmer can either touch the previous swimmer, or go into the water behind the swimmer and swim past him.

Team members must rotate in the same order throughout the swim.

Pace taking is prohibited in relay swimming.

Under no circumstances shall more than one team be allowed to make their attempts from the same pilot boat.

Para swimmers
Paraswimmers must comply with the rules of single crossing.

Rules applicable with appropriate derogations from rules specifically targeted to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.

Disabled swimmers/amputees are allowed to wear socks or other covers over their butt.

Running swimmers are allowed. Specifically, physically and intellectually disabled athletes can receive assistance to get in and out of the water at the start and finish. This includes before and after a leg in a relay.

Tempo swimmers for disabled and blind swimmers can be in any position relative to the athlete.

Blind swimmers

Blind swimmers have 3 general exceptions to solo swimming performed by open-water swimmers with sightsight:

(a) they may be tied together in some way to another swimmer during their swim for guidance;

(b) they may be led by swimmers who allow them to tap their feet or other parts of their body for guidance;

(c) They may be escorted by crew of a follow-up boat blowing whistles for guidance (e.g. once for “go left” and twice for “go right”).

Banned Drugs

Swimmers may take any form of fuel, hydration, medication or sustenance during the swims as long as this does not include alcohol or drugs on Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD), Antidoping Sweden banned list or the World Anti-Drug Testing Agency (WADA) banned list.

Swimmers need to be aware that they may be requested to undertake a drug test at any time up until 24 hours after your swim.

SwimÖresund-sanctioned events respect the guidelines, recommendations and rules outlined by ADD, Antidoping Sweden and WADA unless there is a swimmer with a previously documented medical exception.

No alcoholic beverages, stimulants or drugs that are on the ADD, Antidoping Sweden or World Anti-Drug Agency shall be consumed by the swimmers during the swim or 12 hours before the swim start.

No alcoholic beverages or narcotic drugs shall be consumed by the observer, boat crew member, or anyone associated with the swim from dock to dock.

The official SwimÖresund observer is responsible for documenting the solo swims or relays and completing the observer report. The observer should attend the solo swimmer, relay or group members and document the activities in as much detail as possible. The observer is also responsible for assessing the rules.

The observer report for either solo, relay or group swimmers must be completed completely for verification. Ratification will be carried out by the SwimÖresund Committee. The committee may require additional evidence if they so require.

The necessary documentation includes, among other things, hourly observations of GPS coordinates, water temperature, air temperature, wind speed, stroke frequency (beats per minute), water conditions, feeding and hydration frequency and feed content.

The observations must also provide video or photo documentation throughout the swim.

The observer is responsible for the timing of the swim. The time of swimming should be from the moment a start is indicated (by voice, whistle or air horn) to the time when the swimmer clears the water on the opposite side.

If a situation arises that is not covered by the current SwimÖresund rules. Is it the right of the observer to interpret its rules in relation to the swimmer’s actions.

If the observer is not available, the captain is authorized to perform the function of observer. The captain may also appoint a responsible person on the boat to perform the observer function.

Environmental friendliness
Swimmers, coaches and support teams must not knowingly contaminate any open body of water or its surroundings with debris or waste, including feed cups and gel packs, at any time before, during or after the swim, from start to finish. Swimmers must be disqualified if the swimmer or his crew members contaminate the open water with cups, gel packs, bottles, garbage or other waste before, during or after the solo swim or relay. It is the responsibility of observers to monitor the behaviour of swimmers and their crew.

General information

SwimÖresund has entered into cooperation with the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA), and is starting a brand-new database for swimming between Denmark and Sweden. The distance is 20 km (10.8 nautical miles).

Swim across the beautiful strait ‘Öresund’, which connects Denmark and Sweden. You start the swim at Bellevue Beach (DK) and swim to Lundåkrabukten (SV). After completing the distance, the SwimÖresund committee will approve and certify that the crossing has taken place in accordance with the applicable regulations. The certification of the crossing is recognized by WOWSA. The participants will then be included in officiel list of swimmers who have crossed the Öresund Strait. All participants who complete receive an official certificate from SwimÖresund and WOWSA. In addition, you will receive a specially designed medal from SwimÖresund.

swim oresund crossing map

Strait of Öresund

The Öresund is an iconic international waterway, and has had great strategic importance and influence on Northern European history throughout the ages. The narrow strait connects the world’s largest inland sea, the Baltic Sea, with the Kattegat. More than 45,000 merchant ships sail through Öresund every year. To this must be added the many fishing cutters, recreational sailors, speedboats and other vessels. This makes Öresund extremely busy.

Despite the heavy shipping traffic, Öresund has a particularly healthy and diverse marine life. There are, among other things, bluefin tuna, porpoises, harbor seals and gray seals. Orca flocks and single individuals are not seen very often, but have been visiting inland Danish waters at regular intervals.

The currents in the Öresund can be fickle, mischievous and strong at times. This happens because of the enormous water flow, which either has a northbound direction from the Baltic Sea to the Kattegat or southbound from the Kattegat to the Baltic Sea. The tidal differences are small in the region (less than 20 cm), but the tide has a visible effect on the current strength in the Öresund. The sea temperature in Öresund can vary between 0 C° (32 F°) in winter and 22 C° (71.6 F°) in summer. The warmest months are in July and August, when you can expect an average sea temperature of 18 C° (64.4 F°). In the colder years, the temperature has been down to about 15 C° (59 F°).

swim oresund ship sailing sea

One crossing since 1927

On 31 July 1927, the Danish girl, Edith Jensen, just 17 years old, did what no one thought was possible. She got a lot of attention when she crossed the Öresund on one of the widest stretches. She swam between Barsebäck in Sweden and Bellevue Strand in Denmark (19 km) in 12 hours and 45 minutes. She became the first on this crossing. Since 1927 and until the year 2022, only a few swimmers have crossed one of the widest streaches across the Öresund.

forste oresund svomning edith jensen 1927 monument

The inscription on the former monument (Bellevue Beach): The first swim across the Strait of Öresund was completed by 17-year-old Edith Jensen. She disembarked here. Barsebäck and Bellevue 19 km. 31 Juli 1927.

swimoresund wowsa official rules


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How to register Swimoresund

Responsibility and Risk

As a swimmer, you should be aware of the risks and the responsibility connected to marathon swimming. You should never attempt to swim in open water without being aware of the risks connected to your own survival. Thus, marathon swimming requires total dedication.

The main risks associated with marathon swimming include: hypothermia, inadequate training, overconfidence, inexperience, inadequate preparation and lack of understanding of the challenge being undertaken. It is absolutely necessary to train yourself well before committing to marathon swimming. Both physical and mental training are very important.

Marathon swimming is an extreme, high-risk sport. Therefore, it requires the swimmer to be dedicated and engage in continuous training.

As a swimmer, you need a good support team who know you and your limits well, and who can make important and decisive decisions for you while you swim.

The responsibility for your safety lies with you. If you are not ready to swim, do not risk your life or health. It is better to wait and make a new plan for your crossing.