Race Info

FAQ

Registration

Course Description

Course Map

Weather

Schedule

Directions

2017 Pre-Event Information

2017 Swimmers: 

Please check out the Schedule of Events page for more information about times and locations for events related to this year’s Boston Light Swim.

** Safety and Rules Information
————————————————————

Safety is our top priority! All rules and regulations exist to make this marathon swimming event the safest it can be.

** Rules
————————————————————

  1. We have a strict 5-hour limit on the course. All swimmers must exit the water at 11 a.m. if they have not yet finished. No exceptions. Ignoring the request to get out will get you banned from all future MOWSA-sanctioned or sponsored events.
  2. Swimmers may not touch escort boats or crew members during the swim (unless it’s a relay). We’re following standard “English Channel” rules for this marathon swim event.
  3. While in the water, swimmers must wear the numbered, fluorescent caps we provide.
  4. Escort boats must display their swimmers’ number and the red/white diver down flag. (Please return these flags at end of your swim. A volunteer will be stationed at the BHYC to collect them from you as you disembark.)
  5. No wetsuits are allowed.
  6. Kayaks may only be used as secondary support and only with prior approval by your boater; in the event of an emergency or event cancellation, the accompanying escort boat must be able to accommodate the kayak and kayaker for the ride back to shore.

** Safety Boats
————————————————————

  • There will be three event safety boats on the course. One will be in the front, one in the rear, and one patrolling the middle.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will be present, and they have the authority to cancel the event for any reason.

** Swimmer Health and Safety
————————————————————

  • Crew and boaters: Watch your swimmer for signs of hypothermia, heatstroke, dehydration, exhaustion, injury, etc.

2017 Boaters: 

Dear Boater: Thank you for supporting a swimmer or relay team for this year’s Boston Light Swim!

** Pre-Race Briefing and Dinner
————————————————————

You are cordially invited to the pre-race safety meeting at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 4, at the Curley Community Center (M Street multi-purpose room, 1663 Columbia Road, South Boston). You can meet your swimmer there and listen in to the safety briefing. We would love to have you attend, but this is not mandatory. You are also invited to join us for the pre-race dinner at the Boston Harbor Yacht Club (1805 William J. Day Blvd., South Boston) beginning at 6 p.m. In addition to a yummy Italian buffet meal, you’ll also get to meet your swimmer, other race participants, and learn about the history of the event. You are welcome to attend, but you are not required to do so.

** Race Day: Meet Your Swimmer at BHYC!
————————————————————

Meet your swimmer at the dock at BHYC at 5 a.m. to motor out to the lighthouse for the start of the race. The race begins promptly at 5 a.m. We know it’s early, but we’re catching the tide, and there will be less recreational boat traffic on the water early in the morning

** Flags
————————————————————

Your swimmer will receive a packet of flags upon check-in the morning of the race. They will hand these to you when they board your boat. Please fly these banners and flags from your boat for the duration of the swim. They help mark your boat as part of the race and are an important safety aid to other boaters on the course. At the conclusion of the swim, please give the flags to the crew member(s) disembarking at the BHYC. They will bring the flags back to the finishline and the race directors. We need the flags back to keep race costs down!

** RD’s Cell Phone
————————————————————

Please note, Race Director Elaine Howley is the primary contact for this event. You may call her on 508-736-6268 with questions or concerns. If your swimmer pulls out before the finish, please contact Elaine via call or text message to let her know that you have removed your swimmer from the water.

** Swimmers Who Withdraw Early
————————————————————

If your swimmer is unable to complete the race, he or she will need a ride back to the BHYC. In the event of a medical or safety emergency, please contact the race director or the USCG. We need to know as soon as a swimmer pulls out.

** Radio Communications
————————————————————

TBD

** Safety Boats
————————————————————

  • There will be three event safety boats on the course. One will be in the front, one will be in the rear, and one will be patrolling the middle of the pack of swimmers.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will be present and they have the authority to cancel the event for any reason.

** Course
————————————————————

This swim is unique in that the islands are your markers:

  1. Georges Island: Stay left of the island, 200 yards or more offshore. Watch for ferries coming in to dock.
  2. Rainsford Island: Stay to the right of the island.
  3. Long Island: Head toward the water tower. Watch out for outgoing boat traffic around the 4-mile mark. Keep Long Island on your right and skirt along the southern coast of the island until you reach where the Long Island Bridge (4.5-mile mark) used to stand. IMPORTANT: Head for one of the middle stanchions of where the bridge used to be and WATCH OUT FOR SUBMERGED DEBRIS near what’s left of the old bridge. Also be aware, this is an active construction zone. PLEASE approach the area with extreme caution.
  4. Moon Island will be on your left as you clear the site of the old bridge.
  5. Keep moving straight ahead between Thompson and Spectacle Islands. Thompson will be on your left, Spectacle on the right. Aim a little closer to Thompson, but be aware that for slower swimmers, there could be a slight cross-current from right to left that can push them toward Moon Island. Try to keep on track for Thompson Island.
  6. After rounding Thompson Island (6-mile mark) you have two miles to go. The Boston skyline will be in sight. You’ll see one particularly tall building in the skyline, so head toward that building. As you get closer (within 1 mile of the finish) you’ll begin to be able to see the white handball courts at the L Street bathhouse.
  7. FINISH: M Street beach within the fence of the Curley Community Center. It’s the first walled off section after the public beach at M Street. There will be two, large, orange markers out in front of the walls, a large FINISH banner, tents, people, and an orange mesh-fenced finish chute. Once your swimmer finishes, you can motor back to the BHYC dock to drop off the crew and their bags. The crew will take the boat flags from you and return them to the finishline where they will meet their swimmers. Boaters, if you have a place to safely dock your boat, please feel free to come join us for the afterparty on the beach. (The BHYC is only accessible for dropping off swimmers and crew, not for docking.)

** GPS Waypoints
————————————————————

Please note, we have updated the Long Bridge GPS waypoint to guide you through the center stanchion.

Location                                                                   Longitude                           Latitude

Start / South of Little Brewster Island:             42.326836,                       -70.890135

Mile 2 / South of Georges Island:                       42.315623,                        -70.926747

Mile 3.3 / North of Rainsford Island:                 42.314988,                       -70.952110

Mile 4.6 / Long Island Bridge Center Span:      42.309319,                       -70.979703

Mile 6 / North of Thompson Island:                   42.322017,                        -70.998266

Finish (Mile 8):                                                        42.328987,                        -71.033435

You can access a course description and map on our website.

** Rules
————————————————————

  • We have a strict 5-hour limit on the course. Boaters, if your swimmer is still in the water at 11 a.m., he or she must enter your escort boat and be dropped off at the BHYC.
  • Swimmers may not touch escort boats or crew members during the swim (unless it’s a relay). We’re following standard “English Channel” rules for this marathon swim event.
  • Swimmers must wear the numbered, fluorescent caps we provide while in the water.
  • Escort boats must display their swimmers’ number and the red/white diver down flag. (Please return these flags at the end of your swim.)
  • No wetsuits are allowed.
  • Kayaks may only be used as secondary support; in the event of an emergency or event cancellation, the accompanying escort boat must be able to accommodate the kayak and kayaker for the ride back to shore.

** Event Cancellation
————————————————————

The race will proceed rain or shine. We will only cancel the event if the Coast Guard deems conditions too dangerous or there’s thunder/lightning. If we need to cancel, we’ll notify you via email as soon as possible. Please make sure the race director has a current, accurate email address on file for you.