Rules and Regulations
Before you register
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. may of the year in which you are swimming.
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.
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 Swims
By the power of World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). SwimÖresund solo swims, relays and groups operate under the following granted rules, regulations, protocols, procedures, policies, and definitions, as stated in this document.
For a swim to be officially recognised. WOWSA and SwimÖresund Sanctioning requires compliance with Rules & Regulations. The SwimÖresund Committee will not ratify a swim if any rules are not followed.
SwimÖresund shall not observe or recognize any marathon swims by swimmers under the age of 18.
Types of crossings
* Without Neopren
* With Neopren
Standard swimwear and equipment
Swimwear made of tight-fitting porous textile material. The swimwear must therefore not be made of neoprene or have any other buoyancy. Men are allowed swimming trunks that do not go below the groin and above the waist. Women are allowed a swimsuit that does not go beyond the groin and ends with shoulder straps.
A swim 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 may 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.
Remember at least two illuminations for night swims.
No flotation devices, propulsive aids, protective swimwear, or full-length swimwear is permitted.
The SwimÖresund swim shall be from shore to shore. Swimmers start and finish on land with no body of water behind. The land must be part of a naturally occurring contiguous part of the shore. Stopping at a pier or man-made jetty is not permitted.
No physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person, escort vessels, or other objects (fixed or floating).
Coaching and the giving of instructions by the Swimmers representative is permitted.
Swimmers may be handed fuel (food) and hydration (drink) by their crew or coach from an escort boat. The fuel and hydration may be provided via a feeding stick or water bottle on a rope.
Swimmers shall be allowed to use skin lubrication or other such substances on the skin providing the substances are not serving to retain body heat. Lanolin, Vaseline, grease, and other such substances are permitted. Check if the pilot accepts so.
A pace swimmer is allowed but the Swimmers cannot draft off a pace swimmer. A pace swimmer is not allowed for the first two hour of the swim and hereafter only every second hour. The pace swimmer is allowed to wear a wetsuit.
Drafting behind an escort boat on a solo swim, relay or group is not permitted. Swimming closely alongside an escort boat is permitted as long as safety of the Swimmers is maintained.
Escort boat shall attempt to maintain a constant position so as to station the swimmer at, or forward of, the midpoint of the escort boat.
Swimmers may swim any stroke style: any form of front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, or butterfly or any combination thereof (freestyle). The swimming styles must adhere to FINA’s rules.
A multiple crossing must adhere to single crossing rules.
On a two-way or three-way or multiple crossing, the swimmer must completely clear the water line at all stops. The Swimmers can rest, sit or stand on land for up to 10 minutes while accepting fuel, hydration or skin lubrication from another individual. Walking down the shoreline is not permissible.
Each leg will count as a single crossing in one’s crossings count.
The first leg will be timed from start to touching dry land. The second leg gets timed immediately thereafter (i.e. the rest time between legs is incorporated in the second leg time).
The relays must adhere to single crossing rules.
The relays must have appointed a team manager. It is the responsibility of the team manager to keep his team fully informed and to make sure that the medical forms are completed.
Relays shall consist of minimum 2 and maximum 4 swimmers.
SwimÖresund shall recognise male only, female only and mixed categories. If one swimmer is in a wetsuit it shall be regarded as a neoprene swim.
Each swimmer shall swim for one hour each time he/she enters the water. This duration is called a leg.
On receipt of a time signal, the changeover to the new swimmer shall be made as soon as is practically possible (within one minute) after the previous swimmer has completed his leg. In the exchange, the new swimmer can either touch the preceding swimmer or enter the water behind the swimmer and swim past him.
Team members must rotate in the same order throughout the swim.
Pace-making is forbidden in relay swims.
In no circumstances shall more than one team be allowed to make their attempt from the same Pilot Boat.
The groups must adhere to single crossing rules.
SwimÖresund shall recognise male only, female only and mixed categories. If one swimmer is in a wetsuit it shall be regarded as a neoprene swim.
The Groups must have appointed a team manager. It is the responsibility of the team manager to keep his team fully informed and to make sure that the medical forms are completed.
Groups shall consist of maximum 4 swimmers.
The swimmers in the group must not be separated, which means that the front and the rear swimmer must be a maximum of three meters apart. In case this distance is exceeded, it is the duty of the fastest swimmer to slow down or wait for the others. Therefore, it is important that you have the same skills in swimming before you start the crossing.
If one or more swimmers delay the group for one or more reasons, it may be necessary to pull the swimmer out of the water for the completion of the crossing.
The para swimmers must adhere to single crossing rules.
Rules as applicable with appropriate derogation of Rules specifically targeted to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
Disable swimmers/amputees are allowed to wear socks or other coverings over their stumps.
Rendering swimmers is permitted. Specifically, physically and intellectually disabled athletes may receive assistance getting in and out of the water at the start and finish. This includes before and after a leg in a relay.
Pace swimmers for disabled and blind swimmers can be in any position relative to the athlete.
Blind swimmers are allowed 3 general exceptions to the solo swims performed by open water swimmers with sight:
(a) they can be tethered together in some fashion to another swimmer throughout their swim for guidance,
(b) they can be led by swimmers who allow them to tap on their feet or other parts of their body for guidance,
(c) they can be escorted by crew on an escort boat who blow whistles for guidance (e.g., once for “go left” and twice for “go right”).
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 shall be responsible for documenting the solo swims or relays and completing the observer report. The observer shall witness the solo swimmer, relay or group members and document the activities as detailed as possible. The observer shall also be responsible for the adjudication of the rules.
The observer report for either solo, relays or group swimmers must be completely filled in for verification. The ratification will be made by the SwimÖresund Committee. The Committee may call for additional evidence if they require it.
The required documentation includes, among others, hourly observations of GPS coordinates, the water temperature, air temperature, wind speed, stroke rate (stroke per minute), water conditions, feeding and hydration frequency and contents of feeds.
The observes must also provide video or photo documentation throughout the swim.
The observer is responsible for the timing of the swim. The timing of the swim shall be from the moment a start is indicated (by voice, whistle or air horn) until the time the swimmer clears the water on the opposite.
If any situation arises which is not covered by the current SwimÖresund rules. Is it the observers right to interpret its rules relative to the swimmers actions.
If the observer is unavailable, the captain is authorized to perform the function of the observer. The captain may also appoint a responsible person on the boat to perform the observer function.
Swimmers, coaches and support crew may not intentionally pollute any open body of water or its environs with trash or debris, including feed cups and gel packs, at any point before, during, or after the swim, from start to finish. Swimmers shall be disqualified if the swimmer or his crew members pollute the open water with cups, gel packs, bottles, trash, or other debris before, during, or after the solo swim or relay. It is the responsibility of the observers to monitor the behaviour of the swimmers and their crew.
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 21 km (13.3 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.
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 northerly direction from the Baltic Sea to the Kattegat or a southerly direction 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°).
One crossing since 1927
On 31 July 1927, A Danish girl, Edith Jensen, just 17 years old, did what no one thought was possible. She attracted 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 person. Since 1927 and until the year 2022, only a few swimmers have crossed one of the widest streaches across the Öresund.
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.
Responsibility and Risk
As a swimmer, you must be aware of the risks and responsibilities associated with marathon swimming. You should not attempt swimming in open water without being fully aware of the risks that may be associated with your own survival, and therefore marathon swimming requires full commitment.
The main risks associated with marathon swimming include: hypothermia, inadequate training, overconfidence, inexperience, inadequate preparation and lack of understanding of the challenge being undertaken Feeding/nutrition. 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.