Swim The Loop starts and finishes at the Dockside Restaurant, which is located on Airlie Road (Wilmington side of the Intercoastal Waterway). The race will start at a high tide to ensure an even tide pattern throughout the 3.5 mile swim. Don't be fooled though; there will be times of slight incoming tide, slight falling tide and a mostly slack tide. Swimmers will paddle their way around the island clockwise going under the drawbridge and turning right into Lee's Cut. There are some shallower waters through this cut, so keep about 10-15 ft. off the marsh/docks and you won't hit bottom. Lee's Cut can be a tougher section to complete, so be conservative and confident through the first mile of the swim.
Once through Lee's Cut the swimmer will turn right into Banks Channel and go under the W. Salisbury St. Bridge completing about 1.5 miles of the course. Once you reach the second bridge you've completed 2 miles and will soon turn right into Motts Channel. Make sure you site through Mott's Channel and stay about 10-15 ft. off the marsh because as the tide begins to change and fall this part could be a
challenging portion of the swim depending on the time you begin this portion of the swim. Mile 3 is just past the Seapath Towers/Marina and will leave you with half a mile from the finish.
The race course is a 5.6K (3.5 miles) loop that goes around Harbor Island. Start/finish will be on the docks at Dockside Restaurant. Swim course will be clearly marked with buoys, kayakers, stand up paddle boarders, and boats. Waves or a mass start will be determined closer to race date and is subjected to the number of race entrants and weather conditions. The direction of the swim will be clockwise around Harbor Island. Expected water temperature range is 75-82°F, with possible chop due to wind, and the presence of marine life.
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