Vidösternsimmet, The Longest Open Water Race in Sweden


The longest and toughest open water race in Sweden takes place in the fresh waters of the lake Vidöstern. Note: There is no guaranteed finish in this event! You have to struggle with the forces of nature, focus on every stroke and count the big yellow buoys as you navigate past them on your way to the finish line. The wind often blows with a strength of 4-7 m/s. Fog is quite common. Your participation is all at your own risk.

Your ability to be well prepared, persistent and to navigate on your own are up for test. Your ability to swim long distances on your own, to stand cramp, seasickness, cold, fatigue, pain, handle lack of nutrition and liquid is a part of the race. The safety organisation is well dimensioned but on purpose leaves a part of the responsibility to you, as a swimmer. To be allowed to participate in the race you will have to sign a document, at the prerace, where you take on full responsibility.

Swimmers who manage this swim will for sure be ready for even bigger challenges like the Channel.


The participants need to attend the prerace meeting on Friday August 9, 2024. The location of the prerace will be communicated in a later time.

At 6.15 to 6.50 pm we quickly give the information in English. We go through the information that has been sent out regarding feeding stations, weather forecast, water tempreature, etc.) and answer all your questions.

You will be offered coffee and something small to eat. For the participants who have ordered Pasta Dinner, it will be served nearby the location of the prerace after the meeting.



Early Bird Price: 2 500 SEK  (2023-08-26 — 2024-03-31)
Normal Price: 3 500 SEK (2024-04-01 — 2024-08-04)

Last day for sign up is August 4, 2024, 11.59 pm



Participation is entirely at your risk. To be allowed to start, you will need to sign a document in which you take on full responsibility during the race and obey to follow the instructions from our safety officer. A wetsuit is one of the safety measurements in this race. It is mandatory for safety reasons. If you are an experienced Open Water Swimmer used to swim without a wetsuit, there is a special competition for that marked NWS (= Non Wetsuit).

We follow the recommendations of the Swedish Swimming Federation regarding the use of a wetsuit and urges you to follow them too: “Below 16° C a wetsuit is obligatory, between 16° C and 18° C a wetsuit is recommended, between 18° C and 23° C a wetsuit is allowed. Above 23° C a wetsuit is not allowed for health reasons”.

In case the temperature would be above 23° C the race management highly recommends that you carry out the race without a wetsuit, but cannot oblige you to do so. Current temperatures will be given at the Prerace meeting and you can also find them at . Throughout the entire race the responsibility for your health is yours.


A tow float/Safeswimmer, is yet another of the safety measurements in this race and the use of is mandatory. It has multiple functions:

→ to show where you are.

→ to help you float, if necessary

→ to let us identify you

It is attached to your waist and it floats about half a meter behind you.

All swimmers are recommended to use the swim cap handed out to you at the prerace meeting. Either you use our swim cap or use no swim cap at all.



There will be boats all along the track, one per 1000 meters, going back and forth. It is your responsibility to notify a member of the race staff if you decide to discontinue the race.  A doctor and other medically trained staff with knowledge of CPR will be present at the race.

  • Call on a boat by waving your hand.
  • Show that everything is okey with a thumb up

Along the entire race there will be about 20 big, yellow buoys to help you navigate. The distance between them will be approximately 1000 meters.  If you would diverge from the course, the staff on the boats will help you back on track.

The organizer has the right to:


Postpone the start by 1-2 hours if there is fog, thunder, etc.



Cancel the race in case of thunder.


If it is foggy we will guide you with a kayak. Please note that nobody is alowed to swim past the kayaks until the safety personnel says it OK.


In bad weather conditions which endanger the safety of swimmers and crew, cancel the entire event.


Restrict the number of swimmers


  1. Osudden-Funtabo 3700 m
  2. Funtabo-Tånnö  3900 m
  3. Tånnö-E4:ans Camping  5500 m
  4. E4:an Camping-Ekens Camping  3400 m
  5. Ekens Camping-Sundet 5000 m


To be able to maintain a high safety we have set time limits at the feeding stations. If you arrive after the cut off time you will be taken out of the race and may NOT, under any circumstances continue the race.

Clarification: Even if you have your boat accompanying you, you may NOT continue. Even if you miss the time by only one minute, you may NOT continue. Even if you throw away your tow float and swim cap and say that you don´t care about the competition, you only want to swim to the finish line; you may NOT continue.

The time limits (cut-off times) are the following:

  1. Funtabo  3700 m, Last time to pass 08.50 am
  2. Tånnö 7600 m, Last time to pass 11.00 am
  3. E4:ans 13100 m, Last time to pass 02.00 pm
  4. Ekens 16500 m, Last time to pass 03.15 pm

The maximum time to get an official position and a “Finisher T-shirt” is 10:30 hours.

All those who make it pass the cut off time at Ekens at 3.15 pm, and completes the race, receives a medal, even if the total time exceeds the 10:30 hours.


There will be five depots where you can get drinks, food and energy.

  • Funtabo after approx 3700 m (a raft in the water)
  • Tånnö after approx 7600 m
  • E4:ans after approx 13100 m
  • Ekens after approx 16500 m
  • Gyllene Rasten after approx 19000 m (a raft in the water)

In each patrol boat there will be Umara U-gel Raspberry (without caffeine) and Cola (with caffeine) and water during the race.


Water, Sports drinks (Umara sport), Coca-Cola, (Kaffe)

Food /Energy:

U-bar – Energy bar (in the flavors: coconut, cranberries, apple/cinnamon and mint choclate)

U-gel – Raspberry and Cola

bananas, cinnamon buns, snickers, candy

In each patrol boat there will be Umara U-gel Raspberry and water during the swim.

If you want your own food, in addition to what we offer, we have a solution for that. All the special food is put in a box, marked “specialkost” marked with your number from the starting list. From that box you can fetch your food during the race at the food stops.

When you reach the finish area you will be served food, coffee and waffles. Tickets used to get this is included in the finish-kit you’ll recieve after you finished your swim in Sundet. 


We arrange for you to be picked up at 5.45 am on the day of race in central Värnamo. Be sure to put your name, phone number and where to be picked up, on the list presented at the prerace.

You will arrive at the starting area at 6.15 am at the latest.

You may bring your own car to the start, there are parking lots nearby (see map). We will transport you back to your car or central Värnamo after the race.


When you would like to get transported you notify the staff at the counter at the finishing area. You may choose between the following departures from Sundet;

2:30 pm
3:15 pm
4:00 pm
4:45 pm
5:30 pm
6.15 pm



Transportation of your change of clothes is taken care of. There are no changing rooms at the start, which means that you change your clothes outdoors. You put your belongings in a marked, black plastic bag, which we transport to the finishing area.



There are toilets at the start and at the depots at Tånnö, E4:ans Camping, Ekens Camping and at the finishing area.



There are several hotels and bed and breakfasts in Värnamo see



During the race you will have a chip attached round your wrist and it will  automatically check you in and out at the different feeding stations. After the race the preliminary times are presented. The detailed lists of results will be on our webpage within 1 day. You will be able to see your specific time according to time spent on land and time in water. The timing chip is included in the start-kit you will recieve at the prerace.



If you decide to discontinue the race, immediately notify nearest member of the race staff, on land or in a boat. You will be picked up within 15-30 minutes and will be taken to the finish area where you will find your clothes, a hot tub, food and a possibility to shower. Then you can use the regular transportation from the finishing area back to the start or to central Värnamo.