Nanaimo Ocean Swim

Nanaimo Ocean Swim Logo

Saturday, 29 August 2015

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.

The 2015 Nanaimo Ocean Swim Safety Plan and Race Rules are now available. 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 this year.

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.

Subject to approval by the Nanaimo Port Authority.


Registration is limited to 20 swimmers in each race so be sure to secure your place early!

Registration is NOW OPEN and closes on the 25th of August.

Race Before June 30th After July 1st After August 15th
2Km Swim $60.00 $75.00 $90.00
4Km Swim $75.00 $100.00 $125.00
11Km Swim $150.00 $175.00 $200.00
11km Relay $200.00 $225.00 $250.00

Note: If you are providing your own kayak there is a $25.00 discount on the registration.

Included in your registration is ferry passage to and from the island, safety vessels, kayak rentals, a race t-shirt, 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 29th). A 50% refund or full credit will be given up to 7 days before the event (Aug 22nd). In the last 7 days before the event; only a 50% credit will be given.

Kit Pick Up:

Race kit pick up will on Friday, August 28 from 18:00-20:00 (6:00pm-8:00pm); location is TBD.


The ferry runs every 30 minutes from Maffeo-Sutton Park to the island throughout the day from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Parking at the park is free on the weekends.

Start Times:

Race Brief Time Start Time
2Km Swim 14:30 (2:30pm) 15:00 (3:00pm)
4Km Swim 14:30 (2:30pm) 15:00 (3:00pm)
11Km Swim 12:30 (12:30pm) 13:00 (1:00pm)

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 have arranged a race rate of $129.00CAD+taxes with the Best Western Dorchester in downtown Nanaimo. It is across from Inner Harbour at the corner of Church and Front Street; a simple 500m walk to the Newcastle Island Ferry. Please let them know you are part of the Nanaimo Ocean Swim. If the room block is all sold out please let me know and I will try to get more rooms.

You can also contact the hotel by phone or email if required:

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