Dear Open Water Friends,

In 2019, NYOW will offer four 20 Bridges swim dates over four weekends between June and August. Each event will have up to 15 swimmers and will be scheduled on a Saturday with Sunday reserved as a rain date. Swimmers and their support teams will need to make themselves available on both days.


20 Bridges-1. Saturday, June 1 [Sunday, June 2].

20 Bridges-2. Saturday, July 13 [Sunday, July 14].

20 Bridges-3. Saturday, August 17 [Sunday, August 18].

20 Bridges-4. Saturday, August 31 [Sunday, September 1].  

The application will open on Thursday, November 1 at 12 PM EDT and will close on Wednesday November 7 at 12 PM. Swimmers will be notified of their slot by December 1 at which time a 25% non-refundable deposit of $750 is required.

20 Bridges Selection Criteria

Entries are no longer ranked by their timestamp, so swimmers should take their time to make a strong application. Instead, we will be putting an emphasis on swimmer resume. Criteria will include:

  1. Completed recent and less recent marathon swims
  2. Field diversity for each date (age, gender, nationality)
  3. Swimmer schedule (EC, CC bookings)
  4. Participation as a NYOW volunteer
  5. Preferred swim dates
  6. Cold water experience (For 20 Bridges-1 on June 1)


The cost for 20 Bridges is $3000. This cost includes a boat/boater, official observer and kayak/kayaker. Swimmers are allowed a maximum of two crew members.
cholarships will be offered to swimmers aged 25 and under and their entry fee is $2000. If swimmers provide their own kayaker, kayak and other gear they can reduce the fee by $100.

Withdrawal Policy

* Withdrawal before April 1: swimmer gets a full refund minus a $300 processing fee.
* Withdrawal after April 1: swimmer will loose their deposit of $750.
* Withdrawal on event day: Swimmer will loose entire fee.

Fundraising Policy

You are welcome to raise funds for a cause when you swim 20 Bridges as long as you abide by the following guidelines.
* The organization you are raising funds for must be a registered charity or not-for-profit organization.
* This organization can not represent a religious or political cause.
* All proceeds must go to the charity you are fundraising for. You can not fund your swim through your fundraising efforts.


November 1   20 Bridges registration opens at 12 PM EDT
November 7  20 Bridges registration closes at 12 PM EDT
December 1   Date assignments will be announced.
December 15    Deposits are due. Registrants may lose their swim slot if they are late with their payment and we have a wait list for that date.
April 1 Final payment balance is due. Crew registration must be completed by this time.

What can I prepare in advance for the application form?

*  Emergency contact name & relationship:
*  Emergency contact phone number:
*  Medical conditions
*  List your marathon swimming experience over the past three years.
*  List any other marathon swimming experience.
*  List any other athletic activities you would like us to consider in your application.
*  List your pace for one hour of swimming hard in a pool.
*  List the distance you swim per week during peak marathon training.
*  Water temperatures on June 1 will be as low as 60 ̊F. To be considered for this date list your cold water experience.
*  Include a one to three paragraph biography about yourself including your marathon swimming experiences.
*  Include a photo of yourself that we have permission to use on our website and social media platforms.
*  Provide your feeding plan for a marathon swim.
*  Name of charity you are fundraising for.

Like our Facebook page and check our website for updates from time to time.

The 20 Bridges around Manhattan Island include:

Hudson River (date built/length):
1. George Washington Bridge (1931/1,450.85 meters)

Harlem River (date built/length):
2. Spuyten Duyvil Bridge (1899/186 meters)
3. Henry Hudson Bridge (1936/673 meters)
4. Broadway Bridge (1962/170.08 meters)
5. University Heights Bridge (1908/82 meters)
6. Washington Bridge (1888/723.9 meters)
7. Alexander Hamilton Bridge (1963/724 meters)
8. High Bridge (1848/600 meters)
9. 18. Macombs Dam Bridge (1895/774 meters)
10. 145th Street Bridge (1905/489 meters)
11. Madison Avenue Bridge (1910/577 meters)
12. Park Avenue Bridge (1954/100 meters)
13. Third Avenue Bridge (1898/853.44 meters)
14. Willis Avenue Bridge (1901/979 meters)
15. Triborough Bridge (1936/230 meters)
16. Wards Island Bridge (1951/285.6 meters)

East River (date built/length):
17. Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (1909/1,135 meters)
18. Williamsburg Bridge (1903/2,227.48 meters)
19. Manhattan Bridge (1909/2,089 meters)
20. Brooklyn Bridge (1883/1,825 meters)