We can put together longer swims for you and your swim buddies!

Every season we offer a number of Swim Challenges for small groups of experienced swimmers looking to complete longer distances. CIBBOWS plans the routes, obtains the necessary permits, lines-up boat and kayak escorts, and helps to connect swimmers to train and swim together. Each event is designed for 4 swimmers maximum. All swimmers must be CIBBOWS members and all event costs are shared by the swimmers.

Swimming as a group: Boat support is for the whole group and these swims are NOT races. You must all follow the lead boat and swimmers need to swim at a similar pace and stay together throughout the swim – ideally within 20-50 yards, depending on conditions, and no more than 100 yards. If you want to be matched with a group, please contact us first, and we will try to match you with others your speed. NOTE: It is recommended that each group line up back-up swimmers, so if someone has to drop out, another swimmer can join and the other participants are not caught carrying the additional burden of the event costs.

Relays: You may form a relay team for longer swims with one person swimming a leg of the swim at a time. Those not swimming will serve as support crew on the boat.

How to prepare: Although your may group swim and train together in a pool, this doesn’t necessarily translate to the open water. It is important that you swim and train together in the ocean and practice pacing yourselves as a group. We recommend at least one long swim together in the ocean before the swim itself. We also recommend you practice feeding in the ocean using the same feeds you will use for the swim itself – everything feels different in the ocean! If you haven’t trained for long distances or using feeds before, please reach out to more experienced swimmers for advice – maybe through our forum!

Crew: Swim Challenges are crewed by the swim director, Capri Djatiasmoro and 1-3 other crew members. If you have experienced crew members in mind, you can suggest them. Please check that they don’t get seasick! If needed, we can help find experienced crew members.

What to bring: A brightly colored (ideally neon) swim cap – NOT white or blue — so you are visible against the ocean. Bring enough feeds for the length of your swim plus 1-2 hours (open water is not always predictable!). Make sure your feeds can be securely attached to a 50 ft length of rope so the crew can throw them to you from the boat and retrieve them. Bring your warm clothes, towel, feeds, etc. in a *waterproof* dry bag as you have to tow your items out to lead boat the start. Make sure your bag is definitely waterproof!

Weather cancellation: We monitor the weather closely in the run-up to the swim and swimmer safety is our top priority. If we have to cancel the swim due to inclement weather, e.g. fog, high wind over 25mph, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, etc. – we make the decision the day before the swim. If at all possible, we will reschedule your swim. If we can’t reschedule, you will be refunded the cost of the swim minus a non-refundable $200 deposit.

Membership: All participants MUST be CIBBOWS members. Contact us for further information.

Registration and fees: Registration is open on a rolling basis. You can register as a solo swimmer or as a group. (Groups, please nominate one person to register your group!) For solo swimmers, we will try and match you with others who swim at your pace. Please indicate the swim(s) you are interested in (see the list below) and your preferred date(s). Once you have indicated interest, someone from CIBBOWS will be in touch to confirm. Once your swim is confirmed, the deposit is due to hold your spot. The balance is due 1 week before the swim.

Long swims

Governors Island to Sandy Hook, NJ

This is a great training swim for those building up to marathon distance. The first leg is 5 miles from the southern tip of Governors Island (around 2 hours) and then 9 miles to the finish at Sandy Hook (around 3 hours) – with a current assist.

  • Start: Southern tip of Governors Island
  • Finish: Sandy Hook, NJ
  • Distance: 14 miles
  • Staging: Grimaldo’s Chair. You will need to swim 500 feet out to the lead boat at Brighton Beach
  • Swimmers: 4 maximum
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • You will need: Feed/hydration for 6-7 hours
  • Cost: $3,000 – Same cost for solo or a group.
  • Deposit: $200 (non-refundable) to start the application process – with the full balance is due 1 week before the swim.

Governors Island to Marine Parkway Bridge 

This is a challenging and fun current assisted swim with great views – including swimming past our very own Brighton Beach!

  • Start: Southern tip of Governors Island
  • Finish: Gil Hodges Memorial Marine Parkway Bridge
  • Distance: 16 miles
  • Staging: Grimaldo’s Chair. You will need to swim 500 feet out to the lead boat at Brighton Beach
  • Swimmers: 4 maximum
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • You will need: Feed/hydration for 8-9 hours
  • Cost: $3,000 – Same cost for solo or a group.
  • Deposit: $200 (non-refundable) to start the application process – with the full balance is due 1 week before the swim.

Mid-distance swims

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Sandy Hook, NJ

This is a great swim for anyone embarking on their first longer swim. With the current assist, this swim should take around 3 hours.

  • Start: Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
  • Finish: Sandy Hook, NJ
  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Staging: Grimaldo’s Chair. You will need to swim 500 feet out to the lead boat at Brighton Beach
  • Swimmers: 4 maximum
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • You will need: Feed/hydration for 5-6 hours
  • Cost: $2,400 – Same cost for solo or a group.
  • Deposit: $200 (non-refundable) to start the application process – with the full balance is due 1 week before the swim.

Key Lime Pie Swim – Coney Island Pier to Red Hook Valentino Pier

Work up an appetite on this 10-mile swim finishing at Valentino Pier for BBQ and Key Lime Pie.

  • Start: Coney Island Pier (red buoy #6)
  • Finish: Red Hook Valentino Pier
  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Staging: Grimaldo’s Chair. You will need to swim 500 feet out to the lead boat at Brighton Beach
  • Swimmers: 4 maximum
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • You will need: Feed/hydration for 5-6 hours
  • Cost: $2,400 – Same cost for solo or a group.
  • Deposit: $200 (non-refundable) to start the application process – with the full balance is due 1 week before the swim.

Available dates

Governors Island to Sandy Hook, Verrazano to Sandy Hook or Governors Island to Marine Parkway Bridge

  • Saturday, August 17
  • Sunday, August 18
  • Saturday, August 31
  • Sunday, September 1
  • Saturday, September 28
  • Sunday, September 29
  • Saturday, October 26
  • Sunday, October 27

Key Lime Pie Swim – Coney Island Pier to Red Hook Valentino Pier

  • Sunday, July 7 – SOLD OUT
  • Saturday, August 3 – SOLD OUT

Questions? Contact us.