Swim Defiance mandatory safety meeting will be held at 6:40am the day of the race.

Lifeguards and safety boats will monitor the entire course. All participants MUST attend the safety meeting. Body marking required on hands. Competitors must wear color-coded race caps, safety buoy, and wetsuit during the entire race. The host will provide the color-coded race caps. 

Swim safety buoys are required for this race. 

Neoprene wetsuits are required, unless swimmer has pre-approval from the safety / race director. If you wish to have a wetsuit waiver please fill one out during registation or email Diana Hermanson, Race director, a minimum of 1 week ahead of the event. 



Reviewed at Safety Briefing

The event’s success requires the swimmers accept certain responsibilities. In addition to recognizing the risk inherent to exercise in cold water (e.g., heart attack, hypothermia, drowning), every participant is expected to abide by the following:

  • ▪No guide is available. The kayaks, boats and paddleboards are there for the safety of the group, not as individual escorts or safety marshals. Expect to follow the course with the help of adjacent swimmers and buoys, not with the personal aid of the boaters.
  • ▪Do not swim in the proximity of the power boats, THEY ARE OFF COURSE.
  • ▪Do keep an eye out for your fellow swimmers. Help them stay on course. If you see another swimmer clearly in distress, summon a kayak or paddleboard and stay in contact with the swimmer.
  • ▪If you decide to abandon the event midway, DO NOT swim to the closest shore. Rather, notify a kayak and they will escort you to a power boat.
  • ▪If you are tired or injured and need assistance, summon help from a kayak or paddleboard; this is why they are here.
  • ▪When a board or boat approaches, clearly explain the nature of your problem. Be accurate when assessing your condition or circumstance. Don’t sugar coat it, don’t cry wolf.
  • ▪If you are injured or have a medical emergency, enlist the help of a paddleboard. They are piloted by lifeguards with first aid and lifesaving training. If unable to do so, explain your situation to the nearest kayak or swimmer. If urgent, BE VERY EXPLICIT.
  • ▪If you need a rest or simply want a break, look for a kayak.
  • ▪Listen to whatever direction or instructions are provided by kayak, paddleboard or boat operators.
  • ▪If injured or needing medical attention, you will be transported to a Harbor Patrol boat. If uninjured but withdrawing from the race, a kayak will escort or transport you to one of the power boats.
  • ▪If you are showing signs of distress, are obviously unable to follow the course, or will clearly finish outside of the 2 hours after 3K start race time limit, you will be pulled from the event.
  • ▪If you are pulled, do not argue with boat, kayak or board operator. They are looking after the safety of all the swimmers, not one.
  • ▪You will either be picked up directly by a power boat, or transported or escorted by a kayak or paddleboard as appropriate.
  • ▪If transported or escorted to a power boat or harbor patrol, you will remain on the boat until that boat is authorized to return to the finish area. When you return to the finish area, you must check in with the Safety Director, Race Director or Finish Line crew and return your electronic time chip. If you start the race but do not check in at the finish, we will conclude you are still on course. If the race is over and your time chip has not been returned, we will assume the worst.
  • ▪If injured but able to remain at the finish area, notify the Race Director. You will be expected to complete an incident report describing the nature of your accident, illness or condition.
  • ▪REPEATED FIVE SHORT BLASTS from the AIR horn indicates an evacuation is in progress. Please proceed to the closest shore quickly and safely unless picked up by a power boat.  Race management will be sure to provide blankets, food etc if ending up on Vashon Island.