Fancy a Dip? Folks from 40 Countries to Join this Year’s Cross Balaton Swim

  • 13 Jun 2024 5:40 AM
  • Hungary Today
Fancy a Dip? Folks from 40 Countries to Join this Year’s Cross Balaton Swim
Organizers are expecting more than 10,000 participants at the Lidl Balaton Cross Swimming, scheduled to take place on July 20, reports

Forty days before the event, the number of pre-registrations from 800 municipalities across the country has already exceeded 6,000.

The unique open-water swimming event is a summer program that attracts not only Hungarians but also foreigners:
more than 300 foreign swimmers from 39 countries are expected to take part in the event on July 20.

41 percent of the participants are women, while the first Balaton crossings had only four percent of women, this has now increased tenfold.

This year again, the organizers’ main goal is to ensure that participants can swim the classic 5.2 km distance between Révfülöp (northern shore) and Balatonboglár (southern shore), the 2.6 km half distance between Balatonboglár and Révfülöp, or the SUP the distance between the two cities.

“Once again, the safety of this special sporting event is ensured by a floating corridor made up of 130 sail boats, dozens of small boats, and motorboats. More than 1,000 organizers will take care of the safety of the participants,” race director István Máth emphasized.

The organizers will provide information on July 18, after consulting with the Hungarian Meteorological Service ‘s observatory in Siófok (southern shore) and the Balaton Water Police Department.

The reserve days for possible bad weather are July 21, 27, and 28, and August 3, 4, 10, and 11.

The 5.2 km Balaton Cross Swimming, which has become a tradition since 1983, is an annual summer sporting event. Modern swimming was born towards the end of the 19th century.

In Hungary, Kálmán Szekrényessy made the greatest contribution to this, who was the first to swim the stretch of Lake Balaton between Siófok and Balatonfüred (northern shore). Szekrényessy completed the 14 km distance in 6 hours 40 minutes.

This is considered the birthday of Hungarian swimming. However, the distance between Siófok and Balatonfüred was not suitable for amateur athletes and large crowds because of its length.

In the western basin of Lake Balaton, on the 5.2 km long stretch between the northern and southern shores of the lake (Révfülöp and Balatonboglár), Balaton Cross Swimming became a real mass sporting event at the end of the Kádár era (regime change, 1989).

Balaton Cross Swimming's Official website


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