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New York Open Water, Inc. (NYOW) was formed for the purposes of providing safety, support, and funding for open water swimming and kayaking programs and events, while advocating for better stewardship of New York State’s natural water resources and promoting public access to these waters.

NYOW is a 501(c)(3) organization. Our by-laws are posted here.

The corporation provides:

  1. A series of annual open water swimming events including the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim; a 7-day, 120-mile swim along the Hudson River that celebrates the Hudson River and New York Harbor by offering a challenging and safe environment for swimmers to test their ability, while raising awareness of the health, environmental stewardship, and enjoyment of this body of water.
  2. Support and services for selected solo marathon swimming and paddling adventures. Please note that it is within our sole discretion whether to support a particular marathon swim or paddling adventure.
  3. Open water navigation and safety educational and training services for the open water community.
  4. Sanctioning and record keeping of selected open water marathon swims in New York State under the marathon swimming rules established by the Marathon Swimmers Federation (MSF).
  5. Funding to support the establishment and operation of athletic and environmental aquatic programs, including the promotion of youth in open water events in order to further the sport’s growth and longevity.
  6. Organizational support services to related institutions in New York in order to maximize our impact on current efforts relevant to our mission.

We at NYOW take particular delight in our role of supporting solo marathon swimmers from around the world. Between 2011 and 2019, swimmers from 42 countries completed 944 of our solo marathon swim events. We received many more applications, but unfortunately were unable to accommodate all of them. 

Although we treat each solo applicant with the care and consideration they deserve, it is simply beyond our ability to accommodate all – or even most – of them. This inability is usually due to our modest staff size and limited financial resources.

NYOW is a proud member and financial supporter of MSF. MSF’s standards for unassisted marathon swimming are guided by the traditions and spirit of this sport, and aim to preserve its safety and integrity. We adhere to these standards, as we believe that they reflect our organization’s ethos. MSF provides a database of swims completed under these standards. For each successful solo marathon swim that we are able to support, we are happy to provide MSF with the documentation needed for them to include the swim in its database.