Change Your Latitude 57°N Open Water Swim
Take part in the most Northern open water swim in the world, in beautiful Sitka, Alaska
“Change Your Latitude” 57N Open Water Swim in Sitka, Alaska is literally, and figuratively, off the beaten path.
Change Your Latitude is a combined 10k/6k/3k/1k open water swim located in beautiful Sitka Sound, Alaska. And I’m sure one of your first questions is: “isn’t it really cold?!”
Well, it’s not warm. But for most experienced open water swimmers and especially if you wear a wetsuit, it is quite reasonable. The water temperatures in the high 50’s to low 60’s (13-17C).
More interestingly than the water temperature, is the water itself, which is teaming with pacific ocean life. You swim with salmon and the occasional sea lion, pass over clam beds and crab. There is even a salmon BBQ after the race. The course takes you through shallow and deep water where you and your kayaker will enjoy the grandeur that only an Alaska swim can offer! At 57° North latitude this race is the northern most swim taking place in North America… and one of the most northerly in the world!
The swim starts adjacent to the Sitka Sound Science Center and follows the shoreline south along Sitka National Historical Park. The 10k (open to 18 years and older) will loop the course 3 times, the 6k completing 2 “laps” and 3k completes with one turn of the course (both open to 16 years and older). The 1k distance (open to all ages) will swim along the main course and returning via a designated turn around buoy.
The event is open to USMS registered adults and USA Swimming age group registered swimmers (8 and older). The race is capped at a total of 50 10k, 6k and 3k solo swimmers and also a total of 10 relays. Wetsuits are recommended and swimmers must submit witnessed proof of a continuous one (1) hour swim in water at or below 60 degrees Fahrenheit OR have a 2000m/2200y swim time of less than 40 mins. A letter by the individual’s swim coach or open water training coordinator attesting to the competitor’s ability to complete a swim in these conditions will be accepted. The race staff may make exceptions to allow some swimmers to compete without wetsuits. Exceptions will be granted only to individuals who have proven experience (satisfactory to the race staff) with swimming in cold water races (below 60 degrees) without a wetsuit. Wetsuit waiver requests must be submitted to the Race Director at least (14) fourteen days prior to the event.
An Escort kayaker is required for solo 10k, 6k and 3k swimmers and relays, to enhance safety and navigation. For Swimmers who do not have an escort kayaker with them one will be assigned on a first registered, first available basis. The race does their best to make kayaks available, either through rental or on loan from event sponsors.
A banquet and pre-race meeting will take place the Saturday before the race and is what often brings swimmers back to compete again and again. Locally caught King and Coho salmon is served by a locally raised professional chef (and he really knows what he is doing!). This is definitely not a race to miss!