Washington’s Crossing Athlete Information

race start update is found on our home page - here


Thank you for registering for the 7th annual Washington’s Crossing swim. We are very excited to offer Washington’s first and only home town Potomac River crossing. Following is up to date race day information. More specific instructions will be provided at the safety briefing. Please prepare yourself for the weather and conditions. Arrive prepared to swim.  We look forward to an exciting and historic race. REVIEW THE SAFETY SECTION BELOW. THIS YEAR’S RACE WILL INCLUDE WEARING SAFETY BUOYS FOR INEXPERIENCED SWIMMERS. Weather and race updates, if any, will be posted on the WaveOne Open Water website ONLY.

Volunteers are always appreciated especially at check in. Email info@waveoneswimming.com if your family or friends wishes to help out. Thank you in advance.


DIRECTIONS: National Harbor is located in Maryland immediately south of the Wilson Bridge. Exits directly lead to NH from both 295 and 495. See HERE for specific directions.


PARKING is located near the water in open lots as you enter National Harbor and in building garages throughout the property. The closest lot is adjacent to the water and the carousel. All parking is metered and payment is not included in the entry fee.


SPECTATORS are welcome to view the race from either pier, from the beach and possibly from the roof of the Miss Mallory.


FOOD and drinks will be provided on the pier in the check in area for swimmers and volunteers. 


COURSE:   Course shall be swum from the Virginia side of the Potomac River to the Maryland side culminating in front of the beach of National Harbor. The course shall be approximately 2,300 meters or 1.4 miles. The start and finish will both occur "in water". The course will be a straight line from start to finish, HOWEVER a straight line will not be the best course except for the fastest swimmers. Buoys will be placed in the river to provide course guidance and help compensate for the tidal flow (which will be upstream). The Potomac is an active tidal river and there will be currents during the race. Sight often to maintain a direct line to the buoys and the finish. Do not rely upon on water support for sighting purposes. Boats, kayakers and paddleboarders move around and are present to provide safety support. Swimmers shall exit the water at the commercial dock via ladders. A rinse shower will be provided at the dock.


TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS: Water temperature is expected to be in the mid 70’sF. Wetsuits are allowed. Air temperature is expected to be in the low 70’s by race time. Please bring water and other hydrating liquids. Prepare for the sun before the race and apply sunscreen AFTER YOU ARE NUMBERED.


TIME LINE: Check in opens at 6:50 AM for body marking. Check in tents will be on the commercial water taxi pier in front of the Pier House restaurant. Mandatory attendance is required for the safety briefing beginning at 7:35 AM at the Pier.  The water taxis leave the dock at 8:00AM.


GEAR STORAGE: There will be an area set aside for storage of personal items. Storage is at your own risk. We do not guarantee the condition of any belongings. Please leave valuables at home.


SWIM START:  Swimmers shall board the Potomac Riverboat Company water taxi, Miss Mallory, after the safety briefing for a 8:00AM departure to the Virginia side of the Potomac River. Swimmers shall enter the water from the boat and line up for a mass in-water start. All swimmers must show assigned number and be wearing a race supplied cap to be allowed water entry. There is only one start wave.


SWIMMERS WITH DISABILITIES: If you have a disability that needs our attention, please notify us prior to the event so we can prepare for your needs.

SAFETY:    This event follows modified USMS and USAT safety guidelines.  Kayakers will be located on the course and safety craft will be on site and prepared to administer aid if necessary. Water support personnel instructions to swimmers must be followed.  Race swim caps will be provided and must be worn by all competitors.  Water Safety Check In-Out:  Swimmers MUST check in to board the water taxi and check out upon race completion.   Once a swimmer exits the water during a race, the swimmer may not re-enter the water during that race. Support crews shall be designated to monitor approximately 250 meter stretches of the course. All crews will have a leader that is in marine radio contact with the on-land and on-water safety coordinators.  Coast Guard has approved the event and will supply watercraft to secure the main channel traffic in the river.  Official rescue departments shall be on site and coordinated to provide safety support and rapid response. 



In the interest of swimmer safety, we are requesting swimmers with no or limited open water swimming experience to wear a safety buoy. The following guidelines are minimum requirements to swim without a buoy: 1) Three successful WaveOne weekly swims of at least 900 meters within the past two years. OR 2) Completion of a WaveOne race of at least 750 meters within the past two years OR 3) Completion of a 1500-meter open water race or triathlon from another organization within the psat two years. We are using the honor system to determine safety buoy use. Upon receiving your buoy, adjust the waist belt for a snug fit. You may wait until the ride to the west side of the Potomac to inflate your buoy. Have your buoy inflated prior to approaching the boat rail and jumping. ENTERING THE WATER FROM THE BOAT: Detach your belt, hand your buoy to the assistance person at the boat rail, jump in, swim toward the bow of the boat (or as directed) and the assistant will toss you your buoy, then attach your buoy belt around your waist. You are now ready to begin the race. Approach the line of kayakers that create the starting line. A blast of the Miss Mallory horn signals the begin of the race. Swim buoys are for the race only, but will be available for purchase for $20 each.


RACE FINISH: The race finish is at the same dock where you boarded the water taxi. Upon completion, shout out your bib number so we can accurately record your finish. Exit the water using one of the dock ladders. Detach your swim buoy (if used) and hand it to a volunteer. A shower will be on the dock to rinse off.

TIME LIMIT: Maximum time limit in the water shall be 80 minutes from the start.  Swimmers still on the course at MTL may be removed from the swim course at the Referee’s discretion. It is the event director's intention to provide ample time for all swimmers to finish the event.


WEATHER DELAY:  Will be at the sole discretion of the Event Director. Race will be rain or shine, delays or cancellation may result from high winds, atmospheric electrical activity or other endangering conditions.

CANCELLATION:  Will be posted on the event web site: www.washingtonscrossingswim.com at the earliest point possible; please check the web site before traveling to the venue.   Entry fees are nonrefundable. Refunds of any portion or kind will not be given for any reason other than forced withdrawal 48 hrs prior to the start of the swims.


RECOGNITION AWARDS:  Finish awards are awarded to each swimmer completing the swim. Men and women will swim concurrently but scored separately. There will be awards for the fastest overall male and female swimmers. Awards will be sent to the winners.


SWIM TIMES: Will be posted on the WaveOne Open Water website asap following the event.


VOLUNTEERS: Swimmers and their families are welcome to volunteer to help run the swim. If you are interested, please send an email to  info@waveoneswimming.com to volunteer. Thank you!

EVENT DIRECTOR and WaveOne Swimming reserve the right to make changes at their sole discretion. All events and pricing subject to change without notice. Address any questions to: info@waveoneswimming.com


Have a safe, enjoyable and very memorable swim!


Denis Crean
WaveOne Open Water