Open Water Swim Across Okanagan Lake
SEE YOU IN 2021!

Race Day Instructions


General Instructions:

Please remember to bring your swim cap and timing chip on event morning (there is a $40 fee for lost timing chips). Remember that your swim cap is numbered and your timing chip is matched to your cap, so please do not exchange them with anyone else. Don’t forget your goggles and your wetsuit either! Any extra gear, such as dry clothes/shoes can be left in your event package bag, with the included luggage tag attached to the outside and dropped off at the Gear Corral. For 3.1 km swimmers, you cannot take anything on the ferry other than what you need to swim!

Please check our Facebook page: or Twitter: @rattlesnakeswim for any last minute information.

For the 3.1km race, you must be on the ferry no later than 6:45am. The ferry will not wait for tardy swimmers. The ferry will load at the 8th street public boat launch (on your left when facing swim bay). If you have a support paddler, they need to be at Rattlesnake Island no later than 7:45am. As well, when they arrive they need to stay in front of Rattlesnake Island, leaving the north side clear for the houseboat that will be dropping the 3km swimmers. Support paddlers need to give themselves plenty of time to paddle over, as the race will not be delayed waiting for them.

For the 7km race, you and your support boat must be at the start in swim bay no later than 6:45am. If your support boat is late (or does not show) you will not be able to swim.


Listen carefully to the instructions provided to you at the start line or on the ferry on the morning of the swim.
Your timing chip must be placed on YOUR ANKLE. Before you go to get on the ferry (3.1 km swimmers) or go to the water (7km swimmers) you MUST walk across the timing chip mat, which will activate your chip for the event. The mat will be located on the grass at swim bay to the right of the bathrooms. Once you cross this mat, you are assumed to be getting in the water to swim. If you decide not to swim, you MUST contact one of the volunteers to let them know.

Volunteers will help you remove the chip after you have crossed the timing mat at the finish line.

All swimmers must use a swim buddy during the swim. It will be provided to you free of charge and will need to be returned after your swim. You will pick up your swim buddy at race package pick up. Make sure to take it with you on the ferry and to Swim Bay. You will need to inflate the swim buddy and adjust the waist belt so that it is comfortable for you. Swimmers will be removed from the water and disqualified if they are not wearing their swim buddy.

White caps are available for those who are anxious about their swim; these will allow us to keep a closer eye on you! Please ask for a white cap at the registration desk in the community centre on event morning if you feel you need one.

If, on the morning of the swim, you feel like it is not your day, you do not feel well, or you are uncomfortable with the conditions, we encourage you to consider safety first, and not do the swim. If you have any medical questions on event day morning, lifeguards are available to help.

If you have a support person, please read the Support Person Instructions carefully. Make sure you and your support person understand where and where not to go. It is your responsibility to ensure that your support person is competent to support you, and that your Support Person Waiver is signed and submitted to us at event package pickup. No waiver = no support kayak/canoe/SUP on the course.

Have an “escape plan” of sorts if you start to struggle during the race. If you swallow water, or are coughing, or are anxious or panicky, stop swimming, roll onto your back to make breathing easier, hold on to your swim buddy and turn to face any swimmers that might be coming your way. Take a break and work at calming your breathing down. Find a posture that you can practice before hand in safe conditions that you can you’re your “happy place”. If you can resume your swim do so at a pace that is comfortable and manageable, with stops as needed. If you are unable to proceed, wave to the nearest watercraft for assistance or alert your support paddler that you no longer wish to continue and have them alert a support motor boat to pick you up.

In order to ensure swimmer safety, there is a time cut-off for both the 3.1km and 7km swims. For the 3.1km swim you will have 2.5 hours and for the 7km swim you will have 3.5hours to finish. If you are not close to finishing at these times, a support motor boat will come to pick you up and take you to the finish.

Above all, enjoy your swim! Take a moment while you are out there to have a look around and marvel at what you are accomplishing! After the swim, celebrate your accomplishment where awards and door prizes will be handed out (so be sure to stick around)!