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Swim Defiance

Sat July 31, 2021 Tacoma, WA 98402 US Directions



12:30PM PDT - 2:00PM PDT


12:00PM PDT - 2:00PM PDT


12:00PM PDT - 2:00PM PDT
Open to ages 18 - 99.


12:00PM PDT - 2:00PM PDT


12:00PM PDT - 2:00PM PDT

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


3939 Ruston Way
Tacoma, WA US 98402


In 1926, the first organized competitive swim between Vashon Island and Point Defiance in Tacoma, WA was held across approximately two miles of open water, following the ferry route used today. Due to construction to update Owen Beach facilities, we have a temporarily moved the course to follow Tacoma's Ruston Way. We hope to make it possible to repeat this historic feat in 2022. 

Blue Wave Aquatics is proud to announce the 7th annual Swim Defiance taking place in Commencement Bay, in Tacoma Washington. We welcome back returning swimmers as well as everyone else planning to participate in July for the first time. 

LOCATION: Cummings Park, 3939 Ruston Way Tacoma, WA 98402

EVENTS:  Untimed 1K Julie Montiel Friends and Family Wave and competitive time 3K and 5K events. Wave starts may be implemented based on applicable COVID guidelines

ELIGIBILITY: Open to all qualified swimmers registered as of July 31, 2021. Swimmers under 18 years of age: must wear a wetsuit, have a USA sanctioned meet documented time of 6:30 (500 yards) or 5:45 (400 meters) within the last year, parental approval signature, and are only eligible to swim the 1K or 3K events. Swimmers over 18 years of age swimming 5K must provide proof of a 37:30 (1500 meter pool swim) or 41:15 (1650 yard pool swim) or 50:00 (1 mile open water course within the last 2 years).


    • $70.00 Early Bird Special 07/03 - 07/07
    • $80.00 Registration 07/08 - 07/29, Thursday
    • $95.00 Day of Race 07/31, Saturday

Short sleeve performance t-shirt available for purchase $28 XSM - XL, $30 2XL & 3XL. 

ENTRY DEADLINES: Online entries opens Saturday, 07/03,closes at 11:59pm Pacific Time on Thursday, 7/29/2021. 200 max swimmers. 

RULES: Race will follow the current USMS open water rules. Neoprene wetsuits, swim safe buoy and race provided caps are required. Fins, pull buoys, snorkels, mp3 players are examples of items allowed only in the Julie Montiel 1K Friend and Family Wave. To view USMS complete rules for open water events please visit USMS rules and regulations at, Part 3: Open Water and Long Distance Swimming Rules. Download the Non-Wetsuit Cold Water Swim Application and email a completed copy to the Race Director to waive the wetsuit requirement. 

SAFETY: Certified Lifeguards / Tacoma Maritime Institute / Law Enforcement safety boats will monitor the entire course. Body markings are required on the hands. Competitors must wear a highly visibility swim buoy (may purchase during registration), the color-coded race cap, wetsuit. A race provided stick with competitor race number is required to surrender to race volunteer before entering the water to race.

AWARDS: Custom participant award and cap to all competitors. Custom event awards for male and female in each event. 1st - 3rd place vintage medals will be presented to men and women in age groups 17 & younger, 18-24, 25-29, etc. Scrumptious pre/post race refreshments and extra sponsor kudos for recycle and beach pick-ups!


Cold Water Swims
Cold water training for Swim Defiance is FREE for current BWAQ members and swimmers who have registered for Swim Defiance. Please contact Zena before coming to the training. If you are planning to attend confirm with Zena; in person, by email, OR phone 206-651-0823 so we don't start the swim without you.

Locations and Times

  • June 30th is cancelled, added in July 5th below
  • July 5 / Monday at Cummings Beach Park, 6:30 PM, slack at 04:48PM, max speed at 6:00 PM of 0.8knotsFlood
    July 08 / Thursday at Jack Hyde Beach Park, 6:30 PM, slack at 08:24PM, minimal current
    July 14 / Wednesday at Cummings Beach Park, 6:30 PM. Slack 01:42PM, max speed at 06:36PM of 1.5knotsFlood
    July 20 / Tuesday at Jack Hyde Beach Park, 6:30 PM. Slack at 05:36PM, max speed at 06:54PM of 0.1knotsFlood
    July 26 / Monday at Cummings Beach Park, 6:30 PM. Slack at 12:12PM, max speed at 05:24PM at 1.5knotsFlood

We reserve the right to change course / location due to conflicting events, tide and snags that can alter the course / location.

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.

Title Sponsorship

Gold Sponsorship

Product Sponsorship

REQUIRED: Neoprene Wetsuit, Swim Safety Buoy and Brightly Colored Race Cap

Brightly colored race caps, provided by Swim Defiance are required to be worn during the entire event.

Swim Safe Buoys are required to be worn during the entire event, buoys may be purchased during the registration process.

Neoprene wetsuits are required to be worn during the entire event, unless you receive prior approval from the Race Director. Download the Non-Wetsuit cold water application and email a completed copy to Zena Courtney, Race Director at, a minimum of 2 days ahead of the race. 

Download: Non-Wetsuit Cold Water Application

Time Requirements

Swim Defiance is NOT for beginning open water swimmers. An open water pace of 2:30 per 100M for the 5K and 4:00 per 100M for the 3K is required to make the 2 hour cut-off time. 

Swimmers under 18 years of age: A meet documented time of 6:30 (500Y) or 5:45 (400M) within the last year. You can also provide 500Y/400M trial swim documentation using the downloadable Proof of Time form that needs to be witnessed, signed by a parent and signed by your USA swim coach.

All 5K Swimmers must provide proof of a 37:30/1500M pool swim or a 41:15/1650Y pool swim or 50:00/1Mile open water course within the last 2 years. You may also download the Proof of Time swim chart that must be signed by a witness.

Download: Proof of Time Swim Chart



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