Rules & Regulations
All swimmers are expected to heed the directions and instructions of all race officials and public authorities and will be required to sign the race day waiver and release form at time of registration.
The 9-mile race participants and relay teams will start first. This is being done to minimize the total event time from start to finish, which includes on and off-water support. The 9 mile race and relay will start at 10:00 AM. 3-mile race will start at 12:00 PM.
We are swimming in waters that are guarded and owned by the Town of Ocean City and the Ocean City Beach Patrol. The Ocean City Beach Patrol, in conjunction with race officials and medical personnel, shall have ultimate authority to remove a contestant from the race if the contestant is judged to be physically incapable of continuing the race without risk of serious injury or death.
The swim start will be a gun start with a single heat for each race distance. Each swimmer must wear a colored swim cap provided by the Race Director.
Buoys will be located at the 1-mile intervals for miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Buoys will be located at 1/2 mile intervals for miles 7 and 8 and will be located at 1/4 mile intervals from miles 8 to 9. The 3-mile swim will start at the 6-mile location and end at the 9-mile location.
Lifeguards on duty will be approximately spaced at 400 yards.
Fins, paddles, snorkels or flotation devices of any kind are not allowed. Wearing swim goggles or a face mask is recommended, but not mandatory.
Traditional wetsuits are required on an individual basis in accordance with qualifying swim requirements for the 9-mile swim (see qualifications).
Swim caps will be provided and numbered with black marker. Swim caps must remain on for the duration of the swim. Swimmers may wear their own caps only if they are the same color as that stipulated for their respective race. Numbers will also be marked on the back of their hand or on their upper arm.
Every 9-mile swimmer is required to have an individual safety kayaker. If you do not have a safety kayaker, please notify the Race Director at time of registration and a safety kayaker will be assigned to you.
The course will be adequately patrolled by safety personnel on surf rescue boards, kayaks and paddle boards.
Swimmers are required to stay on course. Swimming in the southward direction, the first buoy will be on your right, the intermediate buoys will be on your left, and the last buoy will be on your right. Swimming in the northward direction, the first buoy will be on your left, the interim buoys on your right and the last buoy on your left. This requirement is in place to keep you on course and also to keep the swimmers from going out too far. If a swimmer should inadvertently touch the shoreline, they may not advance forward and should not leave the surf for the beach.
All swimmers are required to attend the pre-race meeting the morning of the race. Details will be provided.
Swim course warm up will be allowed prior to the race.
All swimmers must be accounted for before getting in the water and again when getting out of the water. This is a security measure designed to maintain an accurate count of swimmers. At the finish line of the respective races crossing the finish line, participants must check in with the timer and be sure that the timer has the participant’s race number. If the participant does not complete the race, it is his/her responsibility to give name and number to a race official so that the race staff knows that he/she has exited the water.
Two and a half hours after the start, the Race Director will call an end to the 3-mile course. Contestants’ numbers and times will be recorded. All 3-mile finishers are to be accounted for at this time. All participants are required to notify the timers that they are out of the water, whether they completed the race or not.
Seven hours after the start, the Race Director will call an end to the 9-mile course. Contestants’ numbers and times will be recorded. All 9-mile finishers are to be accounted for at this time. All participants are required to notify the timers that they are out of the water, whether they completed the race or not.
The Race Director reserves the right to cancel or modify the race as necessary.
No refunds will be allowed after web entry.
Race Day Safety Plan
On race day, the Race Director and the Safety Director will hold a pre-race meeting with safety personnel and with the participants to review the course and a safety checklist around 15 minutes prior to the start of the race. Once it is determined that equipment and safety checklists are in place, the Race Director will be given the approval to start the event.
Guards with paddle boards will be on the water in the 3- mile swim area.
Lookouts will be positioned on the beach to observe the swimmers.
Guards will be in the lifeguard stands at each 400-yard mark.
Orange turn buoys will be placed at the 3-mile and 9-mile start and finish locations. Green interim buoys will also be placed along the length of the beach. Yellow nutrition stop buoys will be placed at boat anchored locations. Swimmers are to swim on the inside of all of the buoys except for the start and finish line buoys which will be located closer to shore. This is to keep the swimmers out of boat traffic areas as well as from going too far from land for observation.
Boat traffic will be regulated and monitored by the Coast Guard to keep boats away from swimmers.
Kayakers will be anchored at the 2-mile, 3-mile, 6-mile, and 8-mile locations for nutrition.
From the start to the 6-mile locations, safety support will be handled with on-beach safety support supplied by the race staff for observation of any swimmers in trouble, with additional jet ski and kayak support provided. The on-beach support will be equipped with two-way radios and cell phones. Where trouble is spotted, the Ocean City Beach Patrol will be notified with the request of assistance.