Welcome to the

Lake Chelan Swim


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I be a safety kayaker for a friend or child?

No, you can not safety kayak for your child or friend. You are welcome to swim along with them, and there will be plenty of volunteer kayakers to assist if someone gets tired and needs a rest.

2. Can I get out if I get too tired?

Yes, we think it's great that anyone wants to try the Lake Chelan Swim, and if you get tired, one of the kayakers will be happy to take you to a power boater who will take you to shore after the race. For safety reasons we do recommend that children swim with a responsible adult.

3. Are wetsuits required?

The water temperature is usually between 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Wet suits are encouraged as they both keep you warm, and make you more buoyant, which helps you swim faster! But wetsuits are certainly not required and most swimmers do not use them.

4. Where could I rent a wetsuit?

Try calling your local dive shop.

5. What if the weather is bad?

The Lake Chelan Swim will go on in almost any weather conditions. In the case of lightning, we may delay the start to see if the storm would pass and allow us to safely swim.

We understand that some, or many, people may choose to not swim if the weather is rough. We only ask that you let the Registration people know at Check-In that you have picked up your bag and that you will NOT be swimming. We absolutely need to know for safety reasons which swimmers go into the water, and which swimmers come out!

6. Where can spectators watch the race?

Spectators are encouraged to watch and cheer for their favorite swimmers, as they come in at Manson Bay Park. Spectators may take the bus to Willow Point for the start of the race and then be transported back to Manson Bay Park so they can be there at the Finish.

 7. If the mandatory safety meeting is at Manson Bay Park, how do I get to Willow Point where the swim starts?

We have a local school bus to shuttle us down to Willow Point Park for the start.  Please do not drive to Willow Point yourself for the start, all swimmers must be at the Safety meeting and then get on the bus.

8. Where do I park my car?

There is plenty of parking along the streets of Manson Village.

9. What time should I arrive to check in ?

Swimmers can start checking in at 9:00 AM on the morning of the big day. All swimmers must be: registered, checked in, have their uniquely numbered swim cap, and be ready for the Mandatory Safety Meeting by 11:00 AM. We will cut off Check In at that time.

10. What time is the Mandatory Safety Meeting?

It is at 11:00 AM at Manson Bay Park. You cannot swim without being there.

11. Should I be concerned about the "mass start"?

The start has the potential to be the most dangerous and uncomfortable time of this whole event. If you are not an extremely competitive, and very fast swimmer, then you DO NOT want to be at the front of the mass of swimmers! If you are not a superstar swimmer, please hold back and allow the other swimmers to spread out ahead of you until there is a nice and comfortable space around you to begin your long and enjoyable journey.

12. If I start the swim at Willow Point and finish at Manson Bay, where do I put my towel, shoes, etc?

You will be given a white plastic bag with your number on it, in which you can put your shoes, towel, etc. That bag will be picked up by volunteers before you enter the water. These will be placed in a truck and driven to the finish area at Manson Bay Park where it will be waiting for you. The bags are organized by number, and a friendly volunteer will check your swim cap and fetch your bag for you.

13. Do I have to be a competitive swimmer to swim the Lake Chelan Swim?

No, this is a community event and we encourage everyone to enjoy it and have fun. You do not need to be a super athlete or serious swimmer to finish the 1.5 miles. All you need is a strong sense of adventure and a willingness to "keep on splashing," with some breaks to float and rest on your back. The safety kayakers will also be there to encourage you.

14. Can I wear flippers or fins, a life jacket, mask or snorkel?

Masks, fins and snorkels are okay. Life jackets (PFDs) and any other flotation devices (kickboards, noodles, etc.) are NOT allowed. New for 2021, we do allow and encourage the use of Safety Swimmers, that are buoys pulled behind you, such as those made by Kiefer. 

15. Do I have to wear a swim cap?

For safety reasons, all swimmers must wear the uniquely numbered cap that they are given in their race packet. If you misplace your swim cap, or it comes off in the water, you will not be allowed to swim in this event. No Exceptions! This is for very important visibility and safety reasons.

16. Can you suggest a motel or hotel nearby?

Visit the Lake Chelan or Manson Chamber of Commerce site for information about lodging..

17. How can I support the event, now or in the future?

There are many ways that you could support our event either monetarily or by volunteering.  Please contact Viki Downey or Judy Phelps at LakeChelanSwim@gmail.com

18. Could I or my business become a Sponsor of this event?

Yes! We have several levels of sponsorship: under $100, over $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and above. Please contact Viki Downey or Judy Phelps at 509-860-1383 or email at lakechelanswim@gmail.com

19. When and how do I find out my place and time for the swim?

When you climb out onto the welcoming steps of Manson Bay Park you will be handed a numbered token which indicates what place overall you finished this event. That token will be taken from you and then your time will be recorded onto it for the timing department to then enter into the computer. We will post times and award 1st, 2nd and 3rd medals at about 2:30 pm.

Results will also be posted on our website, www.lakechelanswim.com within a week of the event. Please keep checking back to the website to see when they are posted there.

20. Can I register to swim on the morning of the event?

No, you must register online by noon on the Friday before the race. 

21. Where can I get info on free swim lessons?

Visit Swim Manson Bay website.