swim defiance racers crossing the Dalco Passage

Swim Defiance

Swim Defiance is an annual open water swimming race held in Tacoma, Washington. The race has an incredible history. The first competitive swim was held way back in 1926, between Vashon Island and Point Defiance in Tacoma, WA, across approximately two miles of open water, following the ferry route used today. Swimmers participating in Swim Defiance are treated to stunning views of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Vashon Island, and the Olympic Mountains.

The race is not for the feint of heart, since there are strong tides that can push and pull swimmers during the crossing. Therefore it is not recommended for beginner swimmers. The race distances and locations have varied over the years but these days it is likely to be a 3k swim. The course often begins at the historic Point Defiance Park Boathouse and concludes at the beautiful Owen Beach. An open water pace of 2:20 per 100 meters is required to make the 1.5 hours cut-off time.  Water temp at the time of the swim should be between 57-60 degrees.

There are free cold water practice sessions in the months leading up to the race that are highly recommended to learn as much as possible about the best strategy for swimming the tides and to get accustomed to the experience.

Swim Defiance
Owen Beach
5605 N Owen Beach Rd,
Tacoma WA 98407
Race time: This event usually takes place in early August. Specific date to be confirmed.
Price: $85 USD
Distance: 3K
Closing date: July 30, 2024
Other information:

Swim safety buoys are required for this race.

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