The Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association (ACNEG) are really happy to share with you this blog . We will share interesting information about long distances open water swimming and other relevant topics with regard to our work. This blog will also allow us to have close contact with all those people who are interested in our work.

The first objective is that you know the history, trajectory and prestige recognized by ACNEG the Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association, the only Association that since its foundation in 1999, has been in charge of organizing the crossings by swimming in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar with a very high percentage of success.


The Strait of Gibraltar, which joins Europe and Africa and whose narrowest point is 14,4km long, has turn into the dream of long distance open water swimmers.


Strait of Gibraltar from Atlas Beach

Photo from www.atlasbeach.com


The first attempts to swim across the Strait date back to the year 1927, when the English swimmers Mercedes Gleitze and Miss Hudson tried to cross it from Tangier to Gibraltar.

Obviously, they could not achieve their goal as the route they chose was not the most appropriate one. One year later, Mercedes Gleitze tried again to achieve it but this time from Tarifa (Spain, Cádiz), reaching the Moroccan coast in 12 hours and 50 minutes.

Therefore, the first attempts at that time were led by few daring swimmers who were assisted by some fishermen and the navy. In the 80s, a group of people from Tarifa started to liaise with the Spanish Red Cross (Cruz Roja) in order to assist those few swimmers who were trying, as Mercedes and Miss, to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. Our President Rafael Gutierrez Mesa was part of this group.

Swimmers started to be more and more interested in this location and as a result, this group of people from Tarifa began to think about its importance and concluded that it was necessary to found an association which could make all these arrangements easier, an organization that could give swimmers some technical advice from qualified personnel who knew about the complex features of the Strait and also which could provide the material to do it, by following, in part, the lead, the lead of other associations such as the Channel Swimming Association, CSA.

ACNEG (The Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association) was founded in 1999 and started with just 2 or 3 crossings per year (in comparison with the hundreds of applications that the association currently receives). The 19 years we have been working without incident since then, brings to light the success of our crossings.


Montserrat Tresserras, first spaniard who swim across the Strait, and Rafael Gutiérrez founder of The Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association (ACNEG)

Montserrat Tresserras, first spaniard who swim across the Strait, and Rafael Gutiérrez founder of The Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association (ACNEG)


In compliance with open water swimming international standards and the English Channel standards ACNEG will:

  • Manage crossings and waiting lists so that swimmers are assigned an available date in an appropriate and fair manner according to their application.
  • Provide all technical, material and human resources (support and escort boats, qualified professionals …)
  • Carry out all formal procedures with the Spanish and Moroccan Maritime Authorities.
  • Communicate with the different Maritime Authorities and organizations.
  • Escort and assist swimmers at all times (before, during and after the crossing) preserving their safety.
  • Inform swimmers about climate and weather conditions and will give them information about the maritime zone.
  • Inform swimmers and their companions about accommodation and leisure activities in the area (Tarifa).
  • Certify swimmers achievements and will include them on an official list where they will be classified depending on the different events.


feeding Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association

Skippers of Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association ACNEG





Swimmers from all over the world aim to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar, including not only individual challenges and but also challenges of international recognition such as the Oceans Sevens which includes the Strait of Gibraltar among the most important open water challenges in the seven continents.


Ocean Sevens world map of ACNEG (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association)


ACNEG was recognised in 2017 by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) and the World Open Water Swimming Association (WoWSA) ,  nominating its President as man of the year and other organizations make ACNEG deserving of the uniqueness of granting certificates which validate crossings according to open water swimming sport regulations. Therefore, ACNEG is the only Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association recognized by the most important international organizations.


Human team Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association, International Swimming Hall of Fame

Useful Links:



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This