Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

February 18th will see many swimmers come to the shores of Coney Island for the 2017 U.S. Winter Swimming Championships.

Cristian Vergara, U.S. Winter Swimming Association President, explains, “There is a group of cold water enthusiasts who swim year-round in New York’s waters even during snowstorms and record-breaking cold temperatures.

Coney Island is the perfect American venue for the national championships. The swimmers competing are going to make New York City history. We are all eager to spread the excitement of this sport.”

While Lynne Cox was the face of American ice swimmers and winter swimmers in the 20th century, Jaimie Monahan of Manhattan is the face of American ice swimmers and winter swimmers in the early 21st century.

The 2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year was more than busy throughout her 2016 season – and her pace is not slowing down. Being an ice swimmer, winter swimmer, channel swimmer and marathon swimmer, not a month goes by without Monahan training hard or competing somewhere around the world.

But the U.S. Winter Swimming Championships allows Monahan to take a car to the venue rather than the usual international flight and local ground transportation in a foreign land. “I am excited to return to my home waters, to help put New York City on the map as a winter swimming destination.”

While the sport remains dominated at the fastest end by Europeans, the field is growing internationally every year.

Representatives of the U.S. Winter Swimming Association have ventured to the North Pole, South Pole Siberia, China and Lapland, gaining a tremendous amount of experience and expertise along the way. In coordination with the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the synergistic groups are jointly organizing the Championships.


Event Registration

The registration and swimmer reception will be held at the New York Aquarium Education Hall at the Boardwalk and West 10th Street. For more information, visit www.uswsa.org.

The inaugural U.S. Winter Swimming Championships was held in the Hudson River in 2016. The second Championships will be held in Brooklyn in Coney Island, home of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club since 1903.

The venue is the ocean off Stillwell Avenue with races held between 10 am and 5:30 pm. The event will conclude with an awards ceremony and a gala dinner at Tom’s Restaurant on the Boardwalk.

The water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to be between 2°C-5°C (35°F-40°F) with the air temperature ranging from 4°C and -1°C (29°F - 38°F).


Jaimie Monahan Award

Monahan is the namesake for the Jaimie Monahan Award given by the Lake Geneva Swimming Association for its most exceptional swim of the year.


Open Water Swimming Career


Winter Swimming

Monahan also enjoys winter swimming and ice swimming:


International Ice Swimming Championship

Monahan finished first (18:23.52) in her age group (35-39) at the 2015 inaugural 1000m International Ice Swimming Championship in Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk, Russia in 0.8ºC under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.


USWSA National Championships

Monahan won the 2016 United States Winter Swimming Association National Championships in both the women's 25 breaststroke and 50 breaststroke on 30 January in New York City in 1.2°C (34.3°F) water of the La Marina venue in the Hudson River. She also was the women's silver medalist overall in the 50 freestyle and 25 freestyle (butterfly) and competed in all events and two relays, including the bronze medal IWSA team and the first ever all female ice-fly relay.


2015 Year

Jaimie Monahan completed the following swims in 2015:

  • Length of Lake Geneva 69 km (42.8 miles) in 32 hours, 52 minutes. Second woman, second overall, and first in 16 years to complete this swim.
  • END-WET Swim, Red River, North Dakota. 36 miles (58 km) in 11 hours, 56 minutes.
  • Rose Pitonof Swim, New York City. 17 miles (27.3 km) in 5 hours, 36 minutes.
  • Swam at zero degrees in Antarctica and the Arctic Circle in the same week
  • Won her age group at the inaugural 1 km Ice Swimming World Championships in Murmansk, Russia
  • Represented the USA at swim events in China, Bermuda, Argentina, Russia, Switzerland, Latvia, and Morocco

Winter Swimming

Monahan also enjoys winter swimming and ice swimming:


International Ice Swimming Championship

Monahan finished first (18:23.52) in her age group (35-39) at the 2015 inaugural 1000m International Ice Swimming Championship in Lake Semenovskoe in Murmansk, Russia in 0.8ºC under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association


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