Swim Defiance August 5th 2018

Results are posted! Pictures are posted on Facebook

In 1926, the first organized competitive swim between Vashon Island and Point Defiance in Tacoma, WA was held across approximately two miles of open water, following the ferry route used today. Now we are making it possible to repeat this historic feat!

Blue Wave Aquatics is proud to announce the 5th annual Swim Defiance taking place at Commencement Bay, in Tacoma, Washington.

We welcome back returning swimmers as well as everyone else planning to participate in August for the first time.

We will repeat the Julie Montiel Friends and Family wave allowing fins, hand paddles, pull buoys or another desired swim aides. Ankle chips will also be required to track swimmers in and out of the water.

Swim Defiance offers a 3K and 5K event; participants for both events will receive the following:

  • Custom designed participant award
  • Safety monitored and kayak guided ocean swim with a HUGE bright yellow finish arch
  • Brightly colored custom race cap, required for swim
  • FREE post-race celebration with yummy refreshments and fun music

Cold Water Swims

Cold water training for Swim Defiance is FREE for current BWAQ members, swimmers with a USMS membership (please contact Zena before coming to the training) and swimmers who have registered for Swim Defiance.

Practice Swims - Starting Sunday, July 1st, 2018

All welcome! Come and join other open water swimmers preparing for Swim Defiance. These practices, in Puget Sound, are perfect opportunities to meet new people and familiarize yourself with the challenges that await you in the open water. Whether you are a seasoned open water swimmer, regular pool swimmer, tri-athlete or just enjoy the water, come try it out, after you register for Swim Defiance or join USMS.

Our practice swims offer an opportunity to swim with others, on a pre-approved safe course, at various Puget Sound beaches. Water temperature in the Puget Sound varies over the season from about 54℉ at the start of June up to a high of 59℉ near the end of August. Upwellings of colder water around the course can be refreshing on a hot day, but we do advise wearing a wetsuit both for warmth and floatation. Our practice swims are completely volunteer-run so pre-coordination with Race Director, Zena Courtney at swimdefiance@bluewave-aquatics.com or 206-651-0823 is required.

Swim Course

There are currently three locations that provide safe practice swim courses: Owens Beach, Tacoma, Redondo Beach, Des Moines and Normandy Park Cove, Seattle. Maps of the approximate location are shown below. We reserve the right to change course / location due to conflicting events, tide and snags that can alter the course / location.

Locations & Times

Practice swims for the 2018 season will start July 1st, 2018 and conclude July 31st, 2018.

If you are planning to attend swim, confirm with Zena: in person, email: swimdefiance@bluewave-aquatics.com OR phone 206-651-0823 so we don't start the swim without you.

What to bring

  • 2 swim caps, 1 brightly colored swim cap (not white), 1 silicone or neoprene for underneath
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Wetsuit (not mandatory but a really good idea), neoprene gloves / booties
  • Whistle (not mandatory but a really good idea)
  • An after swim snack or warm drink, rinsing water and change of clothing for post swim

You should be comfortable swimming 1200 yards (48 lengths in a 25 yd pool) / 1000 meters (40 lengths in a 25m pool) and have all the recommended safety items.


Change rooms, washrooms, no showers, concession stand, FREE parking lot. We do not always have a volunteer to watch your gear while you swim, so prepare to leave valuables in your vehicle or lock them with your bicycle on the beach. Zena will have a dry bag to hold car keys safe but there may be a lag to retrieve keys for faster swimmers as Zena will need to remain with the slowest swimmer thru the end of the swim.

Coached Training with Blue Wave Aquatics

Struggling with open water swimming or feeling out of your depth? Check out our Blue Wave Aquatics programs to get your skills and improve your open water confidence. Click here for more information.


Don't have a wetsuit? A great place to rent or purchase a wetsuit is Northwest Tri and Bike. They are located at 15423 SE 272nd St, #107 Kent, WA 98042, 253-638-BIKE(2453). They also carry a wide selection of goggles, wetsuits and other swimming accessories, as well as triathlon products. Please mention you heard of them through Swim Defiance or Blue Wave Aquatics.

AGAIN if you are planning to attend swim, confirm with Zena: in person, email: swimdefiance@bluewave-aquatics.com OR phone 206-651-0823 so we don't start the swim without you.


Merchandise will be available for purchase, on Club Assistant, this week. If you have already registered for Swim Defiance and would like to purchase a long sleeved performance shirt please send us an email at registrar@bluewave-aquatics.com

Long sleeved performance shirts will be available for pickup at the registration table:

  • $28.00 SM, MD, LG, XL
  • $33.00 2XL, 3XL

Registration Dates:

Opens: Sunday, May 6th
Closes: Thursday, August 2nd at 11:59 PM OR when event is full, max athletes 300

Traffic Alerts

Point Defiance is undergoing a major road renovation at the main entrance in 2018. Please follow the driving directions that will bring you in the back way, avoiding construction at the main entrance.

Traffic Alerts for Point Defiance Area

Safety Buoys

Swim safety buoys are MANDATORY for this race. More information about the Swim safety buoys is available on the SAFETY page.

Safer Swimmer Buoy is Mandatory for Swim Defiance

SwimOutlet.com sells Safer Swimmer Buoys. Check out our recommended items for Swim Defiance swimmers.

Buy your Safer Swimmer at Swim Outlet