TIPS

After a long experience in the preparation, organization and monitoring of open water swimming crossings of the Straits of Gibraltar and after sharing this experience with numerous swimmers from all over the world, we ask you to read carefully the following tips that will allow you to have successful and happy swim across the Straits of Gibraltar.
1. read carefully and completely everything specified on this website

The first and most important advice is to read carefully and completely everything specified on this website; be aware of the risks and minimum requirements of this test as well as the procedures to be followed and the documents that must be sent.

2. to have a minimum preparation and some experience in open water swims

The crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar is not among the toughest crossings in the world but it is not among the easiest ones, so you have to have a minimum preparation and some experience in open water swims.  For this reason, we advise those swimmers who intend to sign up for the crossing of the Straits of Gibraltar to either have experience in other competitions or, in the time they have left for the crossing, acquire it in order to swim with  maximum knowledge in open water swimming (waves, wind, currents etc.).

All this is fundamental when it comes to coordinating the feeding, guiding oneself in water in a certain direction and being able to breathe on one side or the other according to the state of the wind and the sea. This previous experience will help you to know how to choose the most suitable crossing (with or without neoprene) and to know the protection with fats more suitable for crossing.

Sharing this experience with other swimmers or other organizations will surely facilitate the success of crossing the Strait.

3. In the Strait, speed is the key to success

There are other crosses, even harder than the Strait, where speed is not a fundamental factor. In the Strait, speed is the key to success. Although we avoid the maximum current hours we can´t prevent that during the crossings there is a drift of certain intensity depending on the tidal coefficients that each swimmer touches at the time and we advise to keep at least 3 Km./H during several hours. As an example we show the following table that will indicate the approximate crossing times depending on the speed and

SPEEDTIME OF CROSSING
2 Km./hImpossible
2,5 Km./h+ 6 hrs
3 Km./h4,5 hrs a 5 hrs
3,5 Km./h4hrs
4 Km./h3 a 3,5 hrs
+ 4km/h– 3hrs

 

Therefore, we recommend continuous speed checks (times in the pool and the open sea) so that the organization has this information as real as possible and, please, avoid requesting this crossing without the minimum requirements of speed and resistance.

In order to prevent swimmers from reporting their speed inaccurately, the members of the Organization, on board the boats, will remove any swimmer who doesn´t meet the minimum conditions to complete the crossing.

When a swimmer considers the round trip:

 

  • We recommend that the crossing be made one year and, once you know the characteristics of the Strait, consider the double crossing. The double crossing is not twice as difficult, it is much more.
  • To the swimmer must exceed 4 km / h in order to make an outing in an appropriate time (no more than 3.5 hours) and be able to make the return with guarantees.
  • However, two more requirements must be fulfilled: that the wind and sea conditions are adequate throughout the day and that (in the first way) you arrive at Punta Cires or very close to that area to have enough space for the current does not separate us from the other coast.

Trying the double crossing from the coast of Morocco may be another option but the journey is much longer and there is a danger that we will run out of sunlight and the crossing would have to be suspended according to the instructions of the Spanish maritime authorities.

4. trusted staff

The Organization can at any time help the swimmer with their food and support, but swimmers are asked to bring with them their trusted staff, which in addition to facilitating the crossing, is a psychological aid. These people are the ones who must go on the Organization’s boats and try to avoid carrying unnecessary personnel that may pose an added problem if for any reason they feel indisposed or dizzy.

5. multiple crosses

Regarding the multiple crosses, we insist that they must be well coordinated and maintain the same speed, training together so that, during the crossing, they can be grouped. For the sake of the rest of the group, the Organization will withdraw those swimmers who jeopardize the success of the event and when this decision has been taken, the swimmer or swimmers should board immediately and there is no discussion.

6. protection against the cold

In many occasions you ask and you ask us advice about the protection against the cold by means of types of fats, in this section we will say that there is no magic formula about the ideal product, if you have serious doubts about your resistance to hypothermia just do it with neoprene.

If you choose to do it without neoprene we recommend the typical mixture of Vaseline and lanolin (60% -40%) that you can prepare yourself or ask at a pharmacy to prepare it, this mixture is easy to spread but if you do not want to complicate simply buy Vaseline in a hardware store and (although it is somewhat more difficult to put) spread directly in large doses and in areas most prone to heat loss (back, trunk, thighs and arms). When you start the test you will lose the fat and if this mixture has been very light in a few hours you will not have anything in the body so it is convenient that in the mixture there is a high dose of Vaseline (it is more consistent).

Knowing that the grease should be placed outside the boats to prevent the crew from slipping on deck, we also request that you have a robe, sweat suit or towels ready so that, once the test is completed, it serves the swimmer as protection and able to keep the boat’s deck clean for the return. It is convenient that there is a person in charge of putting the fat to the swimmer, we can help in a case of extreme need but it is not our mission.

7. PASSPORTS

When the crossing is made, once the good weather conditions have been confirmed, do not forget that we are going to another continent and another country, so you have to take on board the PASSPORTS OF THE SWIMMERS AND GUESTS, especially the former. The Moroccan authorities, through the Royal Navy or the gendarmerie, periodically check the identity of the participants.

8. ACCIDENT INSURANCE

We reiterate that the Organization has a medical support for the day of the swim that guarantees assistance to the swimmers but we are not responsible for any accident and / or incident that may have serious consequences, for which, we advise that each swimmer has his or her own accident and risk policy that assures them of any unforeseen event during the voyage.

9. dates of the crossing

The organization does not assign day for the crossing, periods of (usually) a week are assigned; The crossing can be done on any of these days depending on the weather conditions or the existence of other crosses waiting. It is the Organization (analyzing several criteria) who will prioritize some crosses over others.

We understand the anxiety and desire of the swimmers to make the crossing but we warn that, sometimes, the circumstances force to wait for a few days and sometimes to have to desist from the attempt or prolong the stay in the area. For all this we ask swimmers to be patient with the weather and considered with other crosses that may be waiting for bad weather. As we say “crossings in the open sea are like that”, the weather is the only thing we can´t intervene in to change it. Avoid pressure on the members of the Organization, they will keep you informed and will be dedicated to you with special interest when your turn comes.

10. is not suitable for swimmers with little experience in open water

We want to warn that this crossing is not suitable for swimmers with little experience in open water. It is common for many swimmers to be attracted by the comments of previous crosses that, fortunately, have had exceptional weather conditions and currents. Do not be deceived, this is not always the case, and in most cases you have to swim against the elements (wind, sea, currents …). Never are two crosses are the same and you have to be prepared to swim in certain conditions that are hard for less experienced swimmers. For all this, do not take attempt the swim without proper preparation.

11. medical certificate

The Association, following the uses and customs of other associations around the world, has made a “form” as a medical certificate and will have it available each year on the ACNEG homepage. Once they have been accepted at the crossing, they should print it, make an appointment and provide it to their doctor for an imminent checkup. At the beginning of each year (and no later than February 15) the Association must have it in their possession.

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