Swim Defiance 2024 - August 11th.  USMS Sanction #364-W003
Registration is open! 2024.

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.

Bernardo's All Stars is proud to announce the return of the annual Swim Defiance taking place at Owen Beach, in Tacoma, Washington. We welcome back returning swimmers as well as everyone else planning to participate in August for the first time.

2024 Swim Defiance offers a 3K event; participants will receive the following:

  • Brightly colored custom race cap provided at race check-in.  Ability to purchase discounted brightly swim buoy, both required for swim.
  • FREE post-race celebration with yummy refreshments and fun music

Cold Water Swims - Practice

Cold water training for Swim Defiance is FREE for current BERN members and swimmers who have registered for Swim Defiance.  If you are trying to decide if you want to participate in Swim Defiance but are unsure because of the cold water, you are welcome to attend Bernardo's All Stars swims.  In order to participate in Bernardo's open water swims and trainings you MUST be a USMS registered member.  Please contact Diana, at the information provided below before coming to the trainings.

Race Director is Diana Hermanson 253-426-0588, email: bernardosallstars@gmail.com - Also in charge of the Cold Water Swims leading up to the event.

Safety Driector is  - Doug Hermanson - hermanson.doug@yahoo.com

Practice Swims for the 2024 season will start July 10 and conclude August 5.

Locations and Times

  • July 10/ Wednesday at Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park, 6:30 PM.
  • July 18/ Thursday at Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park, 6:30 PM.
  • July 24 / Wednesday at Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park, 6:30 PM. 
  • July 30/ Tuesday at Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park, 6:30 PM. 
  • August 5/ Monday at Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park, 6:00 PM. 

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

Our practice swims offer an opportunity to swim with others, on a pre-approved safe course, at Owen Beach. Water temperature in the Puget Sound varies over the season from about 54℉ at the start of June up to a high of 59℉ near the end of July to mid August. Upwellings of colder water around the course can be refreshing on a hot day, but we do advise wearing a wetsuit both for warmth and floatation. 

What to bring for practice swims

  • 2 swim caps, 1 brightly colored swim cap (not white), 1 silicone or neoprene for underneath
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Wetsuit (not mandatory for practice swims but a really good idea), neoprene gloves / booties.  Wetsuits will be required for the actual event unless you have received an exception from the race director.
  • Whistle (not mandatory but a really good idea)
  • An after swim snack or warm drink, rinsing water and change of clothing for post swim

You should be comfortable swimming 1200 yards (48 lengths in a 25 yd pool) / 1000 meters (40 lengths in a 25m pool) and have all the recommended safety items.


Change rooms, washrooms, no showers, concession stand, FREE parking lot. We do not always have a volunteer to watch your gear while you swim, so prepare to leave valuables in your vehicle or lock them with your bicycle on the beach. Diana will have a dry bag to hold car keys safe but there may be a lag to retrieve keys for faster swimmers as Diana will need to remain with the slowest swimmer thru the end of the swim.

Coached Training with Bernardo's All Stars

Struggling with open water swimming or feeling out of your depth? Check out our Bernardosallstars.org programs to get your skills and improve your open water confidence.