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Welcome to the Port Orange Open Water Challenge! "Just Keep Swimming!!" That's our motto as you take on one of our four distance challenges! You can start off with our 500 yard swim, try your hand at the 1000 yard distance. For those of you training for a 70.3 you can try the 1.2 Mile distance, and if you are training for a 140.6 or just want a great swimming challenge then go for our 2 lap 2.4 Mile challenge! All swims will be on our marked course in the Halifax River.
Our start / finish line will be the dock of Aunt Catfish's on the River, our host and race supporter! The course will be marked with buoys approximately every 250 yards. Volunteers will be on the course to ensure each group turns at the correct buoy. Volusia County Lifeguards will be on hand to keep all our swimmers safe.
The event will be chip timed with start and finish in the water. Swimmers will wear timing chips on their wrists and will tap the finish line as they swim under it. Awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female in each distance.
Each swimmer will receive a custom event t-shirt, a distance specific swim cap, that must be worn during the swim. Safe Swimmer buoys may be used by swimmers, you have to provide your own buoy if you want one.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?
So how exactly will this thing work?
Swimmers will wear a timing device on a wrist strap. All swimmers will enter the water from a ladder on the Aunt Catfish dock and will swim a short way out from the dock and to start as group from the water. Exact start procedures and groups will depend on the final number of registered participants.
All courses will be out and back from the same start near the Aunt Catfish dock. You will swim south and (for distances over 500yds) turn east and continue southeast to the designated turn around point.
After you turn around follow buoys back towards the dock and tap the timing mat set up near the dock to complete your swim.
2.4 and 1.2 mile swims will start at 8:00AM
1000 yard swim will start at 8:10AM
500 yard swim will start at 8:20AM
How will the course be marked? The course will be marked with buoys approximately every 250 yards. The turn around points 250 yards, 500 yards and 1050 yards will be clearly identifiable with larger orange triangle buoys. The 2.4 mi course will be 2 laps of the 1.2 mi course.
What is the water like? The water in the intracoastal waterway aka Halifax river is salt water. As Port Orange is only about 5 miles from the (Ponce) inlet to the ocean, water is exchanged by the tides every 12 hours and feels fresher and cleaner here than locations further north. The temperature mid June was very comfortable in the upper 70’s. The tide will be moving in (south to north) during the swim. You will swim against the tide on your way out and with in on your return.
How deep is the water? The depth of the water varies with the tide. We have swum the area in tidal conditions similar to race day/time and most of the course was in 4-6ft of water. In many areas you will be able to stand up if needed. Most of the bottom is sand or muck but there are also oyster beds in the area so if you do try to stand place your feet carefully.
Are there creatures in the water? You can expect to see wildlife such as: fish, jellyfish (non stinging), dolphins, sea birds, manatees, in or around the water. Most are harmless and not likely to bother swimmers.
Will there be boat traffic in the area? The swim course is outside of the channel. Boat traffic is minimal in this area and there will be numerous lifeguards and kayaks and paddle boards out to ensure your safety
Will there be lifeguards on course? Yes, there will be lifeguards and safety personnel at each turn and all along the course.
Can I use a swim aid? snorkels, fins, or floatation devises are not permitted. Safe swimmers buoys are permitted but you must provide your own. You will be given a swim cap at check in which you must wear for safety purposes at all time during your swim. You should be a strong swimmer and confident in your ability to complete your chosen distance at start time.
Is there a place to change clothes? There is not a changing area available please come ready to swim There is a fresh water hose on the dock to rise off after the swim.