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The longest non-stop open water marathon in France!



Australia is in the spotlight this year with a guest who knows France well, having swum to it 44 times from the English coast! We are very happy to welcome Chloë McCardel !

She will get to know our river as she swims the 33 kms between Châteauneuf-sur-Charente and Cognac. 

A beautiful day of sporting adventure and new connections awaits Chloë, and all the amateur swimmers,putting themselves to the test and this epic race!.


Designed for experienced swimmers who wish to be part of an adventure that is long distance open water swimming.

33km downstream
solo or relay
a breathtaking route

Take up the challenge 33 kms solo or relay!

Take up the challenge 33 kms solo or relay!

Take up the challenge 33 kms solo or relay!

Take up the challenge 33 kms solo or relay!

Take up the challenge 33 kms solo or relay!

Get ready for 16 kms SOLO!

Get ready for 16 kms SOLO!

Get ready for 16 kms SOLO!

Get ready for 16 kms SOLO!

Get ready for 16 kms SOLO!

An epic 500-metre course on the Charente in the heart of Cognac a pool float! It's time to get out your giant unicorn! In teams of two, you will have to navigate as best you can to reach the finish line. You just need to know how to swim and come in costume. The best-dressed pair will be pronounced the winners.
NEW IN 2023! A 16km event for experienced solo swimmers who want to try out a unique race distance. Many spectators expected on the old towpaths from Jarnac!
A 3km event aimed at all types of swimmers, including open water beginners, who want to accomplish a personal challenge in a new swimming environment. 1500 metres down and 1500 metres back up, just enough to have you coming back for more!


The Flow Des Gabarriers was born when a Cognac native returned to Charente with a passion for open water after more than ten years in Australia. This discipline, very popular in Australia where the majority of the population lives near the coast, is now taking off in France.

The splashy success of the first edition calls for a sequel on Saturday, June 3, 2023! Come and discover the most beautiful creek in the kingdom of Francis I for an exceptional day of swimming, with 3 race distances on offer plus an inflatable tube race just for fun!

The association "Le Flow des Gabarriers" and its volunteers are available to help you undertake a unique personal challenge and answer all your questions!


Start of the Flow Des Gabarriers solo event
Le Bain Des Dames in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente
Start of the Flow Des Gabarriers relay event
Le Bain Des Dames in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente
Start of the Apprentice Gabarrier
Opening of the Finishers’ Village
Solençon square in Cognac
Start of the Big Splash
Solençon square in Cognac
Solençon square in Cognac
Solençon square in Cognac
Solençon square in Cognac

Listen to the experience of Arthur Germain, our 2022 godfather, in full immersion (in French)

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have a kayakist to escort me ! Will the organisation source someone for me ?

Every participant is responsible of his own team including the kayakist.
The FB page is a great way to find a volunteer to escort you during your swim.

Will I get seasick?

It is very unlikely! Small waves may be generated by boats crossing, the wind can also create a slight chop.

Is a neoprene wetsuit compulsory?

No, wetsuits are not compulsory but recommended, to prevent the risk of hypothermia during the marathon races.

How fast is the current in the Charente, is there a risk of being swept away?

The current in the Charente is weak, the only areas where the current increases slightly are in sections that do not form part of the race, or where access is prohibited.

What are the categories and prizes?

The Flow Des Gabarriers is an aquatic adventure that will recognise the fastest swimmers during a prize-giving ceremony at 5.30 pm. There are different categories (scratch ranking, wetsuit/no wetsuit, men/women etc.) and exciting prizes offered by our partners.

What is the time limit for the 3km?

The event ends at 6pm, so every participant must be out of the water by then. In 2022, all swimmers finished in less than 1h30.


What is the average water temperature in June in the Charente?

This can vary greatly from year to year. However, we can expect a minimum of 17/18 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 23/24 degrees Celsius.


Where are the start and finish lines located?

The starting line of the 3km is located under the Maurice Hennessy quay in front of Place du Solençon, to get there you have to swim across the Charente! The finish line is located at the Cognac Canoe Club pontoons.


Can I register if I don’t have a FFN or FFTRI licence?

Yes, but a medical certificate of fitness dated less than 1 year before the event will be required.


Do the FINA/FFN rules governing open water apply?

No, only the rules set out in the "Flow des Gabarriers" internal regulations apply.


Where can I stay during the event?

The Cheval Blanc, the Valois and the'IBIS centre ville are the 3 FDG official hotels in Cognac. Get together and enjoy a special discount offered for participants and support teams. To book, simply get in touch with the desired hotel, there are plenty of options from twin, double or quad bedrooms !