What are the most competitive open water swims in America? Ten potential swims in this category might include the following:
1. RCP Tiburon Mile, a 1.2-mile swim in San Francisco Bay that brings in many of the world's top pool and open water swimmers, including Olympians, Olympic medalists, world 5K, 10K and 25K open water swimming champions, English Channel swimmers and FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix pro swimmers from over 20 countries. Offers a winner-take-all $10,000 first prize for men and women.
2. Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 2.4-mile race in Honolulu, Hawaii, where dozens of accomplished swimmers from Australia and many 20 states in America compete.
3. Trans Tahoe Relay, a 11.5-mile 6-person relay in Lake Tahoe at 6,200 feet in altitude between the states of Nevada and California, that brings in many accomplished pool and open water swimmers including world open water swimming champions, FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix pro swimmers, and NCAA and Olympic Trial qualifiers and top masters swimmers from dozens of states and countries.
4. Maui Channel Swim, a 9.6-mile inter-island 6-person relay between Lanai and Maui in Hawaii, that annually brings in many accomplished pool and open water swimmers including world open water swimming champions, FINA World Cup and FINA Grand Prix champions, and NCAA and Olympic Trial qualifiers and top masters swimmers from dozens of states and countries.
5. La Jolla Rough Water Swim, a multi-distance event with a showcase 3-mile swim north of San Diego, California that brings in the most accomplished open water swimmers from across the western American states.
6. Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, a 4.4-mile race across Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay that brings in many top open water swimmers from the Midwest and East Coast.
7. Any USA Swimming national 5K or 10K championship event. These events are held in various locations across the U.S. and attract America's most accomplished open water swimmers. One example of these events is the Fort Myers Open Water Festival that includes 1000-yard, 1.5K, 2.5K, 1-mile, 5K, 10K and 25K swims.
8. Big Shoulders 5K, a race in Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois that draws the top open water swimmers across the Midwest states.
9. Any US Masters Swimming national championship event. These events are held in various locations across the U.S. and attract America's most accomplished masters open water swimmers in distances including 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, 6 miles and 6+ miles.
10. Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, a 28.5-mile marathon swimming race around New York City that attracts many accomplished English Channel, Catalina Channel, Cook Strait, Gibraltar Strait swimmers as well as pro marathon swimmers and accomplished pool swimmers.
What other races do you believe should be included in a legitimate top 10 most competitive open water swim list? Your comments and opinions are greatly appreciated.