THE SWIM COURSE
Swimmers will start on Long Sands Beach and swim past the Nubble Light House, going through "the gut" between the lighthouse island and the mainland. Swimmers will finish at Short Sands Beach, which is located next to downtown York. The total swim distance is approximately 2.4 miles. The course is always a bit different from year to year based upon the conditions of the ocean and where the course buoys are set. You will be given two-hours to complete the swim. Refer to the Course Map at the bottom of this page. The first wave of swimmers is planned to start at 9:00 am (subject to change closer to event-day). Waves are two minutes apart.
The ocean conditions in Maine are notable for two reasons: (1) cold temperatures year-round, and (2) unpredictable surf conditions. Temperatures rarely exceed 65F at any time of the year. Even in the middle of August, ocean temperatures can be in the low to mid 60s. Swimmers must arrive at the race prepared for cold water conditions.
Unless you are an experienced cold-water ocean swimmer, please do not attempt this swim without a wetsuit. NOTE: If the water temperature on race day is below 58F, wetsuits will be required for all competitors (unless you have a pre-race day permission from the event directors).
A kayaker escort is not required and is optional for each swimmer. The course will be supported by numerous safety personnel on kayaks and on rescue boats. If you choose to bring your own kayaker, they must be experienced in open ocean kayaking and have the ability to “self-rescue” in the event of a rollover during the swim.
On the morning of the event, each kayaker must sign a waiver attesting to their abilities on event-day. Kayaks will be inspected to ensure it meets safety standards. Each kayaker must wear a personal flotation device during the entire event and have a spare flotation device for their swimmer.
EVENT DAY PARKING
Further details will be provided to the swimmers well before event day. Parking is limited near the start location on Long Shore Avenue/Long Sands Beach; however, lots of parking is nearby, and only a short 10–15-minute walk. Carpooling is strongly recommended.
Post-swim snacks and drinks will be provided for swimmers and kayakers at the finish area.
WEATHER AND CANCELLATION
Due to the ocean conditions or other weather factors, the event directors reserve the right to cancel the race at any time if unsafe conditions are present. There is no "rain date" for this event and no refunds will be provided. The event directors also reserve the right to deny race entry to any swimmer for any reason.
TIMING AND AWARDS
We will not time this event like a race (no timing chips). We will have a clock at the start and at the finish for your use. This informal timing method allows us to donate more money to the Michael Phelps Foundation. This decision has also been based on the fact that many swimmers use a personal watch to time themselves. Awards for the top three male and female swimmers, wetsuit and non-wetsuit categories, will be given at the awards ceremony.
COVID RULES ON EVENT
Please be flexible as event day approaches. We are determined to have this event in-person. We will all need to abide by the rules that are in place on event day. COVID rules could be set by the Town of York, State of Maine and/or CDC. We will keep you posted closer to event day. Regardless or any rules, this event will be amazing. We hope you join us.
Contact us at Info@NubbleLightChallenge.org.
SWIM COURSE MAP