(Malta-)Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Challenge, Malta

Saturday, 21 August, 2010 - 03:45



Following the huge success Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club has registered in Open Water Swimming in Malta, the Club’s Swimming Board will this year be introducing the 11-kilometre swim from Malta to Gozo and back, on the same day of the traditional Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Challenge, that is Saturday, 21 August 2010. The Regulations for both events are shown hereunder and the next page.

As specified in the regulations, swimmers will have to be accompanied by a boat during the events. It would be ideal for swimmers to get their own boat and do a couple of swims with the same boat that will be accompanying them on the 21 August. However, the Club will be able to get a number of boats on demand as explained in the regulations. Confirmation of such boats will only be made upon payments on a first-come –first served basis.

To qualify for these events, participation in the Club’s Open Water Swimming Series as shown in the regulations is compulsory. Foreign participants also have to adhere to alternative regulations to have their entry form approved.

Click on "Contact" on this website to request and Entry Form.



Name and Organisation
The event shall be known as the Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Challenge , hereunder referred to as the event, and shall be organized by Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club, hereunder referred to as the Organizers, under the auspices of the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta.
Date, Time, Route and Fee
The event shall be held on Saturday, 21st August, 2010, starting at 8.00 a.m. from Ras il-Qala in Gozo, proceeding on the shortest possible route towards the island of Comino and finishing at a marking buoy on the sandy beach at Marfa. The approximate distance is 5.5 kilometres.
The event entry fee is Euros 25 per participant which does not include the accompanying boat and the transfer from Malta to Gozo.
Schedule on Race Day
5:45 a.m
Signing in of participating swimmers. Swimmers in Gozo on the day of the event should call the Race Director to confirm their presence.
6.45 a.m.
Departure from Marfa Quay in Malta to Hondoq ir-Rummien in Gozo. Swimmers in Gozo on the day of the event are to be at Hondoq ir-Rummien at 7.00 a.m.
7.30 a.m.
Roll-call of all participants and departure to the start of the event at Ras il-Qala. Participating swimmers will be grouped in one boat, while their respective helpers will be systemized in the accompanying boats.
8.15 a.m.
Start of Race from Ras il-Qala, Gozo.
To participate in the Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Challenge 2010 an applicant should:
i.             submit to the Organizers the Race Entry Form duly filled accompanied by the Race Entry Fee and any other fees as the case may be;
ii.            attach to the Race Entry Form a recent medical certificate, at least issued during the previous month;
iii.           have taken part in any two of the two-kilometre events in the Birkirkara St. Joseph Open Water Swimming Series 2010, or
iv.           have taken part in the four-kilometre event of the Birkirkara St. Joseph Open Water Swimming Series 2010 held prior to the Gozo-Malta Open Water Swimming Challenge 2010, or
v.            in the case of a non-Maltese nationality, attach to the Entry Form a signed letter from either his/her qualified coach, or his/her club or his/her national federation, stating that the applicant has been training long distance swimming and the number of months he/she has been undergoing such training. (Upon a professional advice the organizers reserve the right to reject such a certificate.)
Time Limit
A time limit of three hours thirty minutes shall be applicable for the event. The Event Time-keeper shall communicate with the Event Judge the moment the prescribed time shall elapse. Swimmers still in the water will be asked to abandon the swim and no official time will be given. 
Closing Date of Applications
Official event Entry Forms should be forwarded to the organizers by not later than Saturday, 14th August, 2010. Late applications will carry an additional fee of Euro 12.00. No applications will be accepted after the 18th August, 2010.
Entry Fee
The event’s entry fee should be Euro 25.00 and should be accompanied by the official Entry Form issued by the organizers. Entry Forms not properly filled will not be considered.
Accompanying Boats
Throughout the whole event, swimmers should be accompanied by a motor boat, at least 13 feet long. Swimmers are to keep as close as possible to their respective accompanying boat without touching it at any time.
Swimmers with a gap of more than three metres from the boat shall be given a warning to regularize their position. A second warning for breaching this rule will result in an immediate disqualification.
The organizers shall provide a number, equivalent to the one assigned to the applicant, which number shall be attached in a prominent place on the accompanying boat, and which should be easily visible to the event judges.
All accompanying sea crafts are to abide strictly with MMA Regulations.
The organizers will have a limited number of accompanying boats available. Applicants who would like to hire out one of these boats are requested to inform the organizers by not later than Saturday, 7th August, 2010. A charge of Euro 82.00 will be payable in advance.
Group Swimming
Group swimming is permitted under the following conditions:
A group should consist of no more than four swimmers;
Each group should have an accompanying boat in accordance with these Regulations
The group should swim collectively as fast as the slowest swimmer within the group.
The group should swim as close as possible to the accompanying boat without any swimmer touching this boat.  If any one of the swimmers in a group breaches this rule, the whole group will be disqualified.
Finish Buoy
The event finish shall be at a marking buoy placed by the organizers at Marfa. Finishing times are recorded the instant swimmers hit the Finish Buoy.
Pre-Event Meeting
A meeting for all participating swimmers shall be held on Thursday, 19th August, 2010 at 7.00 p.m. at a venue to be advised by the organizers. Helpers and boat owners are advised to attend this meeting. During this meeting the event shall be reviewed for the benefit of everyone involved. Applicants who shall be unable to attend to this pre-event meeting, should send their representatives (the persons who will be accompanying them during the event) who should agree to take full responsibility of explaining in detail to the respective applicants, the proceedings of the meeting. Should neither the applicant nor his/her appointed representative be present for this meeting, the relative entry form shall be withdrawn and the entry fee reimbursed.
Trophies shall be awarded to the first three places in the Male and Female categories, and to the first Male and Female in the other categories as specified in the entry form.
Swimming Caps
Swimming caps are to be approved and numbered at the meeting held by the organizers on the 18th August, 2010. Participants shall not be allowed to wear any blue, black or silver coloured swimming caps. Swimmers turning up for the race without the approved cap shall be disqualified.
Swimming Suits
A wet-suit of a maximum thickness of 0.5 mm may be used. However, participants planning to use a wet-suit, should bring it for the approval of the organizers at the meeting of the 18th August, 2010. Participants, who do the event in a wet suit not in accordance with this rule, shall not qualify for the final classification, although they shall have their finishing time recorded.
A boat assigned by the organizers, shall be patrolling and marshalling the event. The Event Judge shall be on board this boat. On breaching of any rules of the event by a participant, this boat shall approach the said participant and a warning shall be conveyed to the swimmer. A second warning shall result in an immediate disqualification from the event. In such a case, the participant should abandon the swim immediately and board his accompanying boat. If, following a disqualification notice, a swimmer continues the event, the organizers shall not be held responsible for his safety, etc. and the swimmer shall not be allowed to participate the following year.
Difficulties during the event
Should a participant encounter any difficulties during the event, s/he should abandon the swim immediately, board on or be given assistance by the accompanying boat, and inform the organizers immediately on the mobile telephone numbers issued for such an eventuality.
Cancellation of Event
As from two days prior to the event, arrangements shall be made by the organizers to be forwarded by expert analyses of the weather conditions on the event’s route. On the eve of the event, a decision whether the event shall be held or not due to the forecasted weather conditions, shall be taken. Should the organizers be advised to cancel the event, the participants will be informed accordingly through an SMS by not later than 6.00 p.m. Should the event be cancelled, a full refund of the payments made to the organizers shall be made.
Should the weather conditions be acceptable, but jellyfish are prevalent on the race route, it shall be up to each participating swimmer whether to compete or not. The decision should be solely his/hers and the organizers shall not be held responsible for any eventual mishap. Since a decision to cancel participation due to jellyfish can only be taken just before the event, an applicant shall not be able to claim a refund of the payments made to the Organizers. 
Advertising Material
The only advertising material of a commercial nature allowed to be exhibited during the event, should be that approved by the organizers.
Interpretation of these Rules
The organizers are the sole interpreters of these Rules, and all decisions taken by them or on their behalf shall be final.


Once again, Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club has teamed up with INSPIRE to collect funds during both the Gozo-Malta Swim and the Malta-Gozo-Malta Swim. Let’s dedicate this gargantuan effort to a good cause. For further details Ms. Alexia Sammut – Fundraising Events Assistant of INSPIRE may be contacted on 21890000 and 79424727.