Start planning for the 2023 Open Water Swim on Saturday, June 17, 2023!

Key West Open Water Swims

800 yard, 1 mile, 2 mile and 6.2 mile (10K)

JUNE 17, 2023, KEY WEST

The Open Water Swims will begin after the start of The College of the Florida Keys Swim Around Key West. The race will begin at Higgs Beach (1000 Atlantic Blvd. Key West, FL 33040) and head towards the permanently secured poles marking the swim area. Pass the first pole on your left and swim toward the other existing poles. Swim to the required pole for your race and pass on your left and head back to the first pole.  You will swim pass the first pole on your right and swim back to the start/finish line.  The race starts and ends in the water.  The water depth around the poles is 4-8 feet.  During the race, you will swim in pristine waters in the Atlantic Ocean. You can see fish, coral and even some turtles if you look close enough.  Dolphins may try to join the race, however the best sight will of course be the mermaids/mermen swimming with you on your journey.  (That is a separate category)

800 yards=4 poles,  1 mile=8 poles,  2 miles=8 poles x2

For this journey, you do not need your own support crew.  There are buoys to mark the poles and lifeguards for safety in kayaks and boats.

For the 6.1 mile or 10K swim- you will need your own support crew.  This race will begin at Smathers Beach immediately following Swim Around Key West start.  The start is in the water.  Swim around the first pole and go left all the way to the buoy in front of the Key West International Airport.  Swim around the buoy and head back to the first pole, you will swim around that pole you will then do the 2mile loop with rounding the 8 poles two times.  On you final lap, you will round the first pole on your right and swim back to the start/finish line.

The Award ceremony for this event will be immediately following the 10K swim.

Swim Around Key West Open Water Swims: 800 yd, 1 mile, 2 mile and 10K SWIM

Location: The Atlantic Ocean in front of Higgs Beach – 1000 Atlantic Blvd

Course: Start in swimming area and swim east toward pilings. Swim around piling and return to starting point.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Check in: 8:00 am – 8:30 am

at Smathers Beach (2601 S. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, FL 33040)  

Race Start: 8:30 am

The 10K and the 800 yard swim will begin first.  The 1 mile and 2 mile race will begin after the 800 yard swim is complete.

Fees:  $40.00 per person for the 800 yard swim, 1 mile or 2 mile race. $75 for the 10K

**all fees include a cap and t-shirt.

**$5 discount for all members of USA swimming and USMS swimming

After finishing the race, enjoy sandy Higgs Beach – newly renovated by Monroe County and relax.

Click to Download Map

Rules / Safety Info


Lifeguards and kayaks will be positioned throughout the course


  • Swimmers may not stand on or push off the bottom of the ocean floor
  • For the 10K: Swimmers are responsible for providing their own support crew. All marine safety rules must be observed
  • For the 10K: Swimmers must be with their support crew and boat at all times and may not touch vessel
  • For the 10K: Swimmers will be required to have a number visibly marked on their upper arm and on their escort boat
  • A Swimmer is required to end race upon notification by Race official or US Coast Guard
  • Violation of rules may subject swimmer(s) to disqualification. Meet director has final authority
  • Swimmers may not promote third party sponsors, causes, or charities unless pre-approved by Meet Director
  • This is a warm water race. Wetsuits are not permitted


  1. Water and snacks for both swimmer and support crew. Stay hydrated. Use snacks you train with for the 10K
  2. Swim Caps provided are required for the safety of the swimmers


 Contact Lori Bosco at (305) 809-3562 or

Swimmers are responsible for providing their own support crew for the 10K only. A kayak is the only support permissible. For the shorter races, lifeguards are positioned throughout the course.