The Bay Challenge
This is the big one!
9.5 km across Vancouver’s English Bay. And it’s not an easy 9.km swim! This race is a significant undertaking both physically and mentally. But don’t worry… there is a relay option too!
Tides and weather within the bay can significantly increase the distance and time you are required to swim. Water temperature can vary over the course depending on the season; swimmers should expect and be prepared for temperatures between 12 °C in the channel and up to 22 °C near the finish.
Swimmers are required to stay within the bounds of the course path. Note the 2 hour cut-off point to clear the ingress zone is past the shipping channel marker at ~3km into the race ideally swum to swimmers left.
You must secure a boat and crew, and qualify for this race by completing at least one of:
1. A completed 1 hour distance trial
2. A timed completion of 2 laps of the Kitsilano course at a designated VOWSA practice swim
3. Results from a 2 km+ open water swim race.
Having said that… tough and adventurous swimmers have been doing this race since 1932! Making it the oldest race in Canada, and among the oldest in the world! A true classic.
And it is beautiful. The swim across English Bay starts at Sandy Cove in West Vancouver and ends at Kits Beach in Vancouver. Along the way you will pass through a shipping lane, see the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park and the buildings of downtown Vancouver.
This is a real Canadian bucket list race and one worth making the trip for if you are looking for a cool destination swim!