Jim Whelan Open Water Festival featuring the 56th Around The Island® Swim

3401 Fairmount Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Swimming > 1 Mile

Event Description

$5000 Purse Up For Grabs!*

1st Place Overall = $2,500

1st Place Relay Team = $2,500

*Participants wearing wetsuits are not eligible for awards/prizes or GSS points.

The 3rd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival, featuring the 56th Annual Around The Island® Swim, will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 in and around Absecon Island, NJ, which is made up of the cities of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport.

Hosted by Green Whales, Inc., the inaugural Jim Whelan Open Water Festival successfully resurrected this historic and challenging 22.75mi/36.6km marathon swim for its 54th installment in 2019 in honor of the late Jim Whelan; a former NJ State Senator, Mayor of Atlantic City, member of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, Atlantic City teacher, and Atlantic City High School Swim Coach.

"Honoring nostalgia in service to our community."

Through our efforts and the generous support of our sponsors, we continue to accomplish our two main goals:

To increase awareness of "Whelan Whales"--a free swim lesson and water safety program for the children of Atlantic County. Honor the historical significance of the Around The Island® Swim to the Absecon Island community and generations of lifeguard families.

We are even taking it a step further this year by expanding our water safety program to include a lesson on riptides in the Atlantic Ocean.

The history of this legendary marathon swim began back in 1953 when two ACBP members, Ed "Dutch" Stetser and Edward Solitare, made a $100 bet to see who could circumnavigate Absecon Island first. It was Solitare who won, completing the grueling course in 13:30, with Stetser only an hour behind him. Throughout the following half-century, numerous international open water swimming athletes competed in the race, which was eventually called a "world championship ocean marathon."

The Around The Island® current record holder, as documented on marathonswimmers.org, remains Stéphane Gomez, from France, set in 2004 with a time of 6:37.09. The winners from the 54th Around The Island™ Swim in 2019 are:

First male and overall winner: William “Bill” Leonard, from Canada, at 8:23:27First relay: Swim RVA Hammerheads, Steven “Craig” Dunbar and Teresa “Tess” Andres from the United States, at 9:29:56First female: Charlotte Brynn, from the United States, finishing at 9:31:28


What will you be doing on Tuesday, August 9, 2022? Will you become a part of history? Will you support a worthwhile cause? Do you want to challenge your open water swimming skills? Register to participate in the 3rd Annual Jim Whelan Open Water Festival, featuring the 56th Annual Around The Island® Swim!

Individual Event: 5 participants and 3 alternatesRelay Event: 3 teams and 1 alternate team


A committee of open water swim coaches, swimmers, and professionals will be choosing from the best resumes.

Looking for the Entry Requirements?

All Entry & Eligibility requirements for the 56th Annual Around The Island® Swim is found here.


The 56th Annual Around The Island® Swim will be held at the Atlantic City High School Boat House (3401 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401).

The 1 Mile & 400M Ocean Swims will be held at the Albany Avenue Beach, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.


Event Location & Accomodations

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