Change Your Latitude
From Openwaterpedia57° North Open Water Challenge is a 10 km, 5 km, 1 km open water swimming competition in Sitka, Alaska. At 57˚ N, it is one of the northernmost open ocean races in the world.
Sanction and Eligibility
The race is sanctioned by U.S. Masters Swimming and being organized by Baranof Barracuda Swim Club. The event is open to masters swimmers and USA Swimming competitive swimmers (14 and older). Swimmers may enter as Male and Female Solo Swimmers or as relays may enter in 2 or 4 person in the following catagories Male/Female/Mixed. A total of 50 solo swimmers will be allowed and a total of 10 relays will be allowed to enter.
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.
A solo or relay 10 km (6.2 miles) and 5 km (3.1 miles) and 1 km (0.62 mile) open water swims in Sitka Sound with a water temperature range in the mid 50’s. The 10 km course will start at the Mount Edgecumbe High School ramp on Japonski Island. The course will then take the swimmers north out of Sitka Channel and westward along the Fort Rousseau Causeway State Historic Site and loop back to the Mt. Edgecumbe ramp to finish. A turnaround point and/or alternative course will be available for those swimming the 5 km and 1 km distance. Maximum time allowed on the course is 4 hours.
An Escort kayaker is required for solo 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. We will do our best to make kayaks available, either through rental or on loan from event sponsors.
Swimmers must swim on either the left or the right side of the kayak. NO DRAFTING WILL BE ALLOWED. Drafting is defined as “the carrying of a swimmer by the wake of the escort boat, or another swimmer.” If any team engages in drafting, and a complaint by another team is lodged and upheld, the drafting team will be disqualified.
In the relay swims, each swimmer’s first leg is 30 minutes. Succeeding legs are 15 minutes per person. The duration of the final leg can be adjusted at the discretion of the team captain, if more than 15 minutes long. If a person cannot finish his or her leg, the boat is allowed to keep its motor on only to keep present position for the duration of that swimmer’s portion. If the next swimmer enters the water before the proper time, the team will be disqualified.
Entry fee for USMS members Solo – $100 Relay- $60/relay member.
Entry fee for non-USMS members Solo - $115.
Relay - $75/relay member (Non-members must purchase a $15 one-day membership).
- Change Your Latitude website
- Faraway Swimming In Alaska With Kristin Jones
- Change Your Latitude Facebook group
- Change Your Latitude Grows
- List Of Marathon Swims Around The World
- Marathon Swimming
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming website
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
- blueseventy's Laura Val And Kristin Jones