Nanaimo Ocean Swim

Nanaimo Ocean Swim Logo

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Nanaimo Ocean Swim is a 2km, 4km & 11km swim starting and ending on Newcastle Island, Nanaimo BC.

  • The 2km swim will be an out and back from the main beach in Newcastle Island.
  • The 4km swim will be around Protection Island.
  • The 11km swim will take swimmers around both Newcastle and Protection islands.

Here are the 2015 Nanaimo Ocean Swim Safety Plan and Race Rules. The 2017 ones will be available in the spring. All racers and volunteers must familiarize themselves with these document.

Please note: the Newcastle SUP Race will be happening at the same time as the the Nanaimo Ocean Swim. Thus, I had to split the Safety Plan into two documents.

Nanaimo Ocean Swim Course:

All the swims will start and finish near the main campground on Newcastle Island.
More info on the exact route, cut off times and more are posted in the Nanaimo Ocean Swim Safety Plan and Race Rules.

Nanaimo Ocean Swim Map 2015

Here is the google map for those who want to explore the route a little more.


Registration is limited to 60 swimmers in total, so be sure to secure your place early!

Please note: 11km swimmers MUST provide their own kayaker and kayak.*

Registration Now Open

Race Until May 15th Until July 1st Until August 1st Until August 25th
2Km Swim $50.00 $60.00 $75.00 $90.00
4Km Swim $60.00 $75.00 $100.00 $125.00
11Km Swim $125.00 $150.00 $175.00 $200.00
11km Relay $175.00 $200.00 $225.00 $250.00

Note: 11km Relay swimmers MUST provide their own power boat support.

11km swimmer will receive a $25.00 discount if you are providing your own kayak.

Included in your registration is ferry passage to and from the island, safety vessels, kayak rentals, a race t-shirt (or what ever cool thing I think of this year), finishers medal, and of course there will be food, coffee, and more for everyone.

Shirts are not guaranteed after August 15th.

You must be 16+ in order to race in the Ocean Swim. If you are under the age of 16 and would like to race please contact me directly before registering.

Refund Policy:

A full refund or credit toward any VI Endurance race will be given up to one month before the race (July 26th). A 50% refund or full credit will be given up to 7 days before the event (Aug 19th). In the last 7 days before the event; only a 25% credit will be given. If the race is canceled due to circumstances beyond the control of the Race Director (e.g. weather, wildlife) no refunds will be given.

Kit Pick Up:

Race kit pick up will on Friday, August 26 from 18:00-20:00 (6:00pm-8:00pm); location is TBD


There is another new ferry operator to Newcastle Island we are currently working with them on race day transport.
More information in the coming months.

Start Times:

Race Brief Time Start Time
2Km Swim 4:30pm 5:00pm
4Km Swim 4:30pm 5:00pm
11Km Swim 2:30pm 3:00pm

There will be a pre-race briefing 30 minutes before each race for all participants and volunteers. We will update you on the on course conditions, and have a quick rundown of the race rules

If you miss all the morning ferries you can switch to a shorter race or come and cheer on the other swimmers.
Sorry, no refunds for missing the ferry.

These ocean swim start times were chosen to maximize the flood and slack tides. Here are the tide tables for reference.

Race Rules/Safety:

Along with male/female categories there are 2 additional ocean swim categories: Tradition Swimwear and Wetsuit. Definitions and requirements for these categories and a complete set of race rules are included as part of the Nanaimo Ocean Swim Safety Plan and the Race Rules.

The Newcastle SUP Race will be happening at the same time as the ocean swim. The 11km Swimmers can expect to be passed by the paddle boarders. The paddle boarders have been instructed to pass outside of you escort kayaker. If they pass between the kayakers and the swimmer or the swimmer and the island they will automatically be disqualified.

Aid Station:

I am planning for one aid station at the Start/Finish. 11km swimmers can look over what we have but are encouraged to bring their own race food. Remember the old rule never try something new on race day! If you have any special requests please let me know and I will see what I can do.


There will be a small awards ceremony after each event and lots of food at the end of the races.


We hope to have the hotel arrangements sorted out soon.

Future Dates

For those of you who like to plan well ahead, here are the future dates and start times for the race.

Date 11km Start Time 2km and 4km Start Time
August 25 2018 13:00 15:00
August 24 2019 8:00 10:00
August 29 2020 12:00 14:00
August 28 2021 15:00 17:00
August 27 2022 13:00 15:00
August 26 2023 10:00 12:00
August 24 2024 15:00 17:00
August 23 2025 13:00 15:00


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