Schedule of Events
Newport Grande Shuttles – Shuttles begin at 4:15 a.m.
Follow parking volunteers and park your car. Check in at the table where the Navy will check your ID to get on the shuttle. The shuttles will drop you off on the Navy Base in the lot of the Officers Club. All spectators names must be on the Navy list to board the shuttle. Valid ID will be checked by Navy personnell to board the shuttles.
Participant Check-In (4:30 am to 6:15 am)
LATE CHECK-INS will not be accepted. All swimmers and kayakers MUST check in at the start in Newport AND check out at the finish in Jamestown.Once you check in, you will be added to the count given to the Coast Guard.
If for any reason, you do not get in the water or decide to get out before finishing, you MUST notify a Save The Bay staff member. Swimmers who have not checked in on the morning of the Swim WILL NOT BE PERMITTED to enter the water. Unregistered swimmers will be removed from the water immediately and may be prosecuted.
The Coast Guard requires that we maintain an accurate count of swimmers and kayakers in the water. Unregistered swimmers endanger other swimmers and cause errors in our accounting system. If you're not registered, don't swim.
Kayakers Escorting a Swimmer
Kayak Unloading and Inspection (4:30 a.m. – 5:45 a.m.)
Kayak check-in takes time. Please arrive early in order to ensure your boat is approved in time for the Swim. While in the kayak unloading zone, please remain in your vehicle until Save The Bay staff or a volunteer directs you to move forward and unload. Swimmers participating with a kayaker cannot check in until their safety kayak is approved. Swimmers must check in together with their kayakers.
IMPORTANT: Numbered vests will be given to all kayakers at registration.
Vests MUST be worn on the water to identify you as your swimmer’s support.
Each kayaker must have the following equipment to cross the
Bay with your swimmer. If you do not have this equipment and your kayak does
not comply with the following standards, you will not be allowed to
- Sea-worthy 9.5' (minimum) sea kayak or sit-on-top kayak with a paddle (No tandem kayaks permitted)
- 2 adult life jackets (one for the kayaker; one for the swimmer)
- 1 blanket or towel in a dry bag (for your swimmer)
- Whistle/signaling device
Individual Swimmers (Waves 1 & 2)
You are an individual swimmer if you have qualified to swim without a kayaker. Individual swimmers will check in separately in the individual swimmer line.
Swimmers with Kayakers (Waves 3, 4, 5)
Swimmers and kayakers MUST check in together. Swimmers participating with a kayaker cannot check in until their safety kayak is approved. Click here to go to kayaker page.
IMPORTANT: Swimmers using accessories (i.e. fins, paddles, kickboards, pull buoys, snorkels, etc.) must be presented at the registration area and will be subject to inspection. For safety reasons, any swimmer using an accessory will be place in the last wave.
Following check-in, all swimmers will proceed to swimmer numbering.
Swimmers are required to have BOTH ARMS and BOTH HANDS numbered and be given a numbered swim cap that must be worn during the event. The Swim cap will be colored according to the assigned wave.
Wave 1 - Red; Wave 2 - Silver; Wave 3 - Blue; Wave 4 - Yellow; Wave 5 - Green
Numbered vests that correlate with your swimmers number (WAVES 3 - 5) will be given to all kayakers at registration Vests MUST be worn on the water to indicate which kayaker is supporting which swimmer.
Safety Briefing (6:20 AM - 6:40 AM)
This is MANDATORY for all swimmers and kayakers. Participants will be made aware of emergency procedures and the safety regulations will be reviewed.
Individual Swimmer Line Up
After the safety briefing, kayakers will proceed to their boats and get into ready position. Swimmers should proceed to the shoreline behind their designated Wave indicators and get into ready position. Waves will be five minutes apart.
Swimmers with Kayakers Line Up
Swimmers will line up in the water behind the starting line
with their boats off to one side. Swimmers will swim to their escorts boats and
proceed across the Bay.
IMPORTANT: Please make sure your kayaker has a recognizable flag, float, hat, vest so you can easily spot them in the crowd of kayaks.
The Start (6:45 a.m. – 7:05
6:45 AM – Individual Swimmers (Wave 1, Red Cap) – No Kayaks
6:50 AM – Individual Swimmers (Wave 2, Silver Cap) – No Kayaks
6:55 AM – Swimmers with kayaker (Wave 3, Blue Cap)
7:00 AM – Swimmers with kayaker (Wave 4, Yellow Cap)
7:05 AM– Swimmers with kayaker (Wave 5, Green Cap)
Individual Swimmers (Wave 1, Red Caps) 6:45 AM
All individual swimmers will line up in the water behind the starting line. Swimmers in this group who anticipate completing the Swim between 30-45 minutes should place themselves in the front of the group.
Swimmers in this group who anticipate finishing in 45 minutes or more should place themselves towards the back of the group. Remember, this is not a race. The faster swimmers should be in the front of the group for the safety of all swimmers participating. Individual swimmers will begin after the starting signal and will be escorted across the Bay, as a group, by the kayak safety squad (in bright orange shirts).
Individual Swimmers (Wave 2, Silver Caps) 6:50 AM
All individual swimmers will line up in the water behind the starting line. Swimmers in this group who anticipate finishing in 45 minutes or more should place themselves towards the back of the group.
Swimmers with Kayakers (Wave 3, Blue Caps) 6:55 AM
Swimmers will line up in the water behind the starting line with their boats off to one side. Swimmers will swim to their escort boats and proceed across the Bay. Kayakers, please make sure your kayak has a recognizable flag, float, etc., and that you have a recognizable hat, vest, etc. so your swimmer can easily spot you out of the crowd. Swimmers in this group and their kayakers will begin after the starting signal.
Swimmers with Kayakers (Wave 4, Yellow Caps) 7:00 AM
Swimmers will line up and proceed in the same manner as swimmers in Waves 1 through 3. Swimmers in this group and their kayakers will begin after the starting sign
Swimmers with Kayakers (Wave 5, Green Caps) 7:05 AM
Swimmers with accessories will line up and proceed in the same manner as swimmers in Waves 1 through 4. Swimmers in this group and their kayakers will begin after the starting signal.
NOTE TO SWIMMERS WITH KAYAKERS: You should work out a strategy in advance with your kayaker to easily locate them. You do not want to waste time trying to find them when the start signal goes off. Decide where in the line of boats they will be and make sure you have a way of finding them (sign, flag, etc.). It is also a good idea to have your kayaker pull something that floats behind their boat so you do not have to lift your head to follow them. They also will want to have bottled water on hand.
The Swim course runs roughly parallel to the Newport Bridge. The finish in Jamestown is around Taylor Point in Potter Cove. Use the two green Coast Guard navigation buoys to guide you out of the start. Swimmers with Kayakers should swim toward the green can buoy and meet up with your kayaker there.
Swim toward Taylor Point. Taylor Point in Jamestown is marked with orange netting, reflective sheets and a large 16-foot balloon. There will also be a yellow buoy near Taylor Point. As you approach the Jamestown side, you will pass to the right (or north) of Taylor Point. After you round the point, you will see the finish area. Be aware that the Bay bottom at the finish line is soft with rocks and holes, so please walk carefully.
The Celebration (7:15 AM - 9:30 AM)
Time to relax and celebrate! Family and friends are welcome to join participants and volunteers for food and refreshments across the street from Potter Cove, on the lawn of the Rhode Island Turnpike & Bridge Authority’s property. Enjoy massages, music, food and friends! We will have water dispensers rather than bottles, to reduce our carbon load on the environment. Please bring your own reusable water bottle for fill up at the completion party.There will be a short speaking program where plaques will be awarded to honor teams as well as five-, ten-, fifteen-, twenty-, twenty-five, thirty- and thirty-five year swimmers. Participants will enjoy live entertainment and an array of food from our partners such as Belmont Fruit, Pranzi, Whole Foods, Del's, Ben & Jerry's and more! Team and award photos will be taken near the band tent.