Swim Around FAQs

Swim Around FAQs2020-01-17T02:44:29+00:00
Award Ceremony2023-08-16T15:25:35+00:00

There will be an Award Ceremony at 1:00pm, 3:00pm and 5:00pm on Higg’s Beach.

Awards will be for the following:

  •  Top Overall Male and Female Swimmer
  • Top 6 solo swimmers in each age of:
  • 12 & U, 13-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 & 0
  • Top 6 swimmers with fins in the different categories of:  Fins, Memaid Tail or Mono fin,
  • Top 6 in each relay category of 2 person, 3 person, 4 person, 5 person, and 6 person for both 30 minute/10 minute exchange or mile exchange
  • Top 6 in Special Olympic categories.

If you cannot participate and do not want to defer to the following year, you can e-mail the race director. By cancelling your registration you will not receive a refund, but we will send your participant shirt to you after the race.

Cancellation deadline: Cancellation notice must be received at least one week prior to the event date. If your cancellation request is received less than a week before the event, we will not be able to process it.

Check List For Support Boat/Swimmer2020-01-17T02:12:51+00:00
  • Sponge—bail kayak
  • Water—hydrate participants both swimmer and support.  This is a warm water swim, make sure to stay hydrated.
  • Swim Caps are optional as this is a warm water race.
  • Snacks—for both swimmer and kayaker.  Use snacks you’ve been training with.
  • Sunscreen—waterproof
  • Hat/sunglasses/event bracelet w/call numbers/for support crew
  • Marine Radio—monitor race and hear updates to weather & announcements regarding the race.—if have.
  • Cellphone—for emergencies.
Check Points During The Race2020-01-17T02:13:42+00:00

The Three (3) locations during the race to check-in: The first one is entering the Harbor—off Fort Zach; The first Check-point is a boat with large orange buoy on the bow—anchored before entering the Harbor.  The support boat/kayak will need to call out their number to staff on board.

The Second one is exiting the Harbor under Fleming Key.  The check person will be on top of the the bridge.

The Third check-point is under the Cow Key Bridge. The check person will be located under the bridge looking for numbers.  Remember to call out the number.

Missing a check-point will disqualify a swimmer; a swimmer checking-in without support boat will be immediately pulled from the water.  If you are having technical issues with a boat/kayak go to the nearest “Race Support Boat” and they will assist—either giving you a kayak to continue or providing first aid and/or water and snacks—whatever is necessary for the situation.


While refunds are not possible, you can defer your race registration to the following year’s event.  In order to defer your race registration, email race director at

[email protected]There will be a $25 fee for deferral.  You can mail that in with the following year’s race registration.

Deferral deadline: You can defer your race until 2 weeks prior to the current year’s race. 

Due to the upfront nature of event costs, all entry fees are non-refundable.2020-01-17T02:17:49+00:00

All participants acknowledge and accept this policy during the registration process. This policy stays in effect whether you are injured, have an unexpected business trip, family emergency, illness, pregnancy, etc.

Packet Pick Up2020-01-17T02:15:21+00:00

Time is 10:00 am-7:00 pm.  Race packet pick-up is located at The College of the Florida Keys Pool:  5901 College Road, Key West, Fl 33040.  The pool is located on the college campus:  Drive onto campus turn left, follow road, pass Tennessee Williams Fine Art building, turn right, go to last stop sign (where road end, take a left.  Located in front of Public Safety Building.

Safety Boats2020-01-17T02:12:29+00:00

Safety Boats are provided by the Key West Power Squadron.   There will be Eleven (11) support boats on the course.  Each Safety boat will have a large Swim Around Key West Flag.  Boats will be stationary and roving.

The purpose of the safety boats is to ensure the safety of all swimmers.  They will also make sure that each swimmer has a support boat/kayak.

Safety:  If any of the swimmers or others develops medical issues during the event contact:  VHF Marine channel 78 and or by cell phone 305-360-2124.  Extraction points for swimmer will depend on the general area where the issue or emergency occurs.  Following are locations for extraction points:

  • Higgs Beach
  • Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
  • Simonton Street Boat Ramp
  • Coast Guard Station Key West
  • Sigsbee Patio Beach
  • Ibis Bay Resort
  • Marriott Resort Beachside
  • Hurricane Hole Marina
  • Smathers Beach

Monroe County Fire Rescue personnel will be on the beach and roving the course on land with the Race Director to assist in any emergency.

Swimmer Support2023-12-28T19:43:59+00:00

All Swimmers-solo and relay must have an escort boat (kayak or motorized).  Each swimmer will need to be  with their support crew and boat at all times.  A kayak is the best support for a solo swimmers.  Boats are ideal for relays, however some relays do the race in kayaks.

Kayaks can be rented through on-line registration or Sunset Water Sports located on Smathers Beach – sunsetwatersportskeywest.com.  Swimmers can also sign up for a fee to have a kayak and kayaker be their escort by emailing Lori at [email protected].

Swimmer Unable To Finish The Race2020-01-17T02:11:43+00:00

If a Swimmer drops out of the race:  Please notify Lori -cell phone:  305-360-2124 or nearest Safety Boat.

A Swimmer is required to end the race upon notification by Race official or US Coast Guard.


Participants can transfer their registration to another person by emailing the race director. There is no fee for the change.


Weather is an important factor.  The race director is in close contact with NOAA weather and is alerted of any incoming storm system that may be an issue for the safety of the racers.  The race director follows the guidance of NOAA and the US Coast Guard.

In the event of lightening in the area- please go to the nearest land and wait out the storm (FLASH to bang of 30 seconds or less).

If a small craft warning is issued the morning of the race, an alternate plan is sought.

What Is The Time Limit2020-01-17T02:14:31+00:00

There is a 8 hour time limit on the course.  However, if you have passed Cow Key and the turn onto South Roosevelt, you will be permitted to finish the race.

Tides play a major role in the timing of the race.  You will have 2.5 hours to from the start to get to Fleming Key before the tidal flow will turn.  If you need more time to swim there, please let the race director know.

What Support Boat Can I Use2020-01-17T02:13:20+00:00

Different support boats may be used:  kayaks, small boats, paddleboards, or jet skis.  Every swimmer or team will need to have their own support boat due to safety.

For solo swimmer’s, a kayak is the best and easiest way to be supported.  A support person issues the swimmer food and drink and guides them along the course.  The course is marked by boats that will show the kayaker the best swim route.

For relays:  A small boat is the best way around, depending on how many are on the team.  If you have a boat, please make sure the swimmers exit and enter safely.


Where Is The Start And Finish Of The Race2023-03-20T14:21:57+00:00

The start of the race is in front of the bath house on Higg’s Beach: 1000 Atlantic Ave, Key West, FL 33040.  Parking is at Higg’s Beach parking lot.

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