FAQs

WHAT IS THE SWIM FOR GRAND TRAVERSE BAY?

The Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is a fundraising event for The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay. The 2-mile point-to-point open water swim begins at Greilickville Harbor Park and ends at Volleyball Beach near Clinch Park on Saturday, August 11, 2018.

WHO RUNS THE SWIM?

The Swim is organized by The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and protects and preserves the bay’s 1,000-square-mile watershed.

WHAT IS THE WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE SPLASH SERIES?

The Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Event Series is a national program sponsored by Toyota designed to raise funds for local Waterkeeper organizations such as The Watershed Center. The Watershed Center’s Grand Traverse Baykeeper® serves as the eyes, ears and voice for clean water in the Bay and its entire watershed.

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE MONEY RAISED?

The Watershed Center will used funds to support our mission to protect and preserve the Bay and its watershed. That includes advocacy + outreach, and on-the-ground restoration projects.

HOW LONG HAS THE SWIM BEEN AROUND?

2016 was the First Annual Swim for Grand Traverse Bay and it will be held annually on the second Saturday of August.

WHEN IS PACKET PICK-UP?

Packet pick-up will be held on Friday, August 10 from 3-7pm at Volleyball Beach in downtown Traverse City. This will coincide with the Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay, which will happen at 6pm that day. We strongly encourage folks to get their packets on August 10. If you cannot, you may pick it up at 7am on Saturday, August 11 at the starting line at Greilickville Harbor Park.

CAN I PARTICIPATE IN THE KIDS SWIM AS PRACTICE?

No. The Kids Swim for Grand Traverse Bay is for youth swimmers ages 12-17. If you would like to get some open-water practice in before the main event, you are welcome to swim inside the buoy's at Volleyball Beach. 

WHERE DOES THE SWIM START?

The Swim start is at Greilickville Harbor Park in Elmwood Township, Leelanau County, which is west of Traverse City on M-22.

DO I HAVE TO WEAR A WETSUIT?

Wet suits or technical suits are allowed, but not required. For those swimming competitively, there will be both wet suit and non-wet suit categories for timing prizes.

CAN I WEAR FINS?

Flotation devices and equipment such as snorkels or fins are allowed for those swimming non-competitively. These swimmers won't be eligible for timing prizes, but can still earn fundraising prizes.  

IS THE SWIM COMPETITIVE?

Yes and no. While it’s not a sanctioned, competitive event, swimmers will be timed by Classic Race Management (results will be available online after the event) and the top swimmers will be recognized and receive prizes at the after party. Top fundraisers and teams will also be eligible for prizes. Keep an eye out – we’ll post more information about prizes later.

I WANT TO PADDLE THE EVENT; HOW DO I DO THAT?

The Swim for GT Bay is not a paddling event. Swimmers are encouraged to have a support paddler accompany them, and we will have a safety squad of volunteers who provide and extra layer of safety during the race. Paddlers need to provide their own equipment or rent it locally. If you’re interested in joining the safety squad, please contact us.

If you need to rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, we recommend these local companies:

We recommend renting an open top/sit-in kayak. As a support paddler, your swimmer will be allowed to swim to you, get food/water (that you bring onboard your kayak or SUP), or take a rest during the race. As the kayaker, you just need to NOT paddle/move forward if your swimmer is hanging onto your kayak/SUP. 

I AM PARTICIPATING AS A SUPPORT PADDLER – DO I HAVE TO FUNDRAISE?

As a support paddler, there is no fundraising requirement, but you are more than welcome to. When you register through RunSignUp, create a profile and then share with friends, family and co-workers.

I’M NOT A SWIMMER OR A PADDLER, BUT I WANT TO GET INVOLVED – WHAT DO I DO?

Contact us! We need a lot of volunteers to make this event run smoothly and would love to have you on board!

WHERE IS THE FINISH LINE?

The Swim ends at Volleyball Beach in downtown Traverse City.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FINISH?

We’ll be having a pancake breakfast on Volleyball Beach for Swim participants, paddlers and their families. It will be free to participants and volunteers, and $5/person for all others.  

WILL YOU DRIVE ME BACK TO THE STARTING POINT?

Yes, we'll have a shuttle back to the starting point after the swim.

I have STUFF WITH ME – WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?

We’ll have a vehicle at the starting point to collect swimmers' belongings and transport it to the finish. Make sure your name and contact information is clearly marked.

I’M TRAVELING TO TRAVERSE CITY – WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

There are lots of options in Traverse City and the surrounding areas, including hotels, motels, Airbnb, campgrounds and more.

 

 

 

Need more info?

Have a questions that’s not yet answered? Contact us and we’ll add it to the page.