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Welcome to the Swim Across America – Richmond Open Water Swim! Established in 2019, SAA – Richmond has raised over $50,000 for our beneficiary: VCU Massey Cancer Center. Thank you for your support of cancer care in Richmond.

Each year we are proud to host over 100 swimmers and volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians near and far at our charity swim. We are so excited to have you join us for our 3rd annual swim on August 21st in the James River!

Whether you are a veteran swimmer or you’re looking to do your first open water swim, we welcome you to help us “Make Waves to Fight Cancer.”

Swim Across America is dedicated to providing a safe return to events in 2021.

Participation Options:

  • 1.0-Mile Swim
  • 1.0-Mile Float
  • SAA My Way – Virtual Challenge

General Fundraising Requirement: $200 for in-person participants

All swimmers and floaters are asked to raise at least $200 by event day and will receive an event shirt, towel and post event food for participating.

WaveMaker Status: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers go above and beyond the call of duty by raising at least $1,000 regardless of your age. Anyone can achieve WaveMaker status – swimmers, volunteers or SAA My Way participants. WaveMakers get special recognition and an exclusive WM gift on event day. You can learn more about WaveMaker Status here.

SAA My Way Virtual Challenge – July 21st to Aug 20

Join SAA-Richmond virtually to support cancer research at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Choose your activity to help us beat our total mileage logged in the 2020 SAA Coast to Coast challenge, while making a difference in the fight against cancer in your community! Register as an SAA My Way participant with a $50 donation and receive a goodie bag with tshirt, sticker and button. Fundraising is encouraged but not required.

Swim Across America – Richmond – Aug 21

Swim or Float with us on August 21st! Register as a swimmer or floater with a $50 donation and commit to raising $200 to support cancer research at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Swimmer and floater participation includes:

  • participation in SAA My Way – Virtual Challenge July 21 – Aug 20
  • SAA – Richmond Finale in person on August 21
  • Safe, fun, chip-timed downriver swim or float
  • SAA soft cotton tshirt
  • SAA beach towel
  • SAA swim cap
  • post event celebration

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to participate alone, or be part of a team. Many colleagues and college alumni will form teams, or teams may be formed in honor or memory of a loved one. All teams are inspirational and rewarding for all of us involved with Swim Across America. All team members are still required to meet their individual fundraising minimums based on their age, distance or WaveMaker status as noted in the prior sections.

Registration Self-Donation:

All participants register with a $50 donation. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each participants fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.

Wetsuit Policy, Rentals and Purchases:

Water temperatures can vary. Please read our full wetsuit policy and tips on our Policies Page.

Online Rental: is offering $15 off with code SAA15 on adult and youth wetsuit rentals. You can find more info here.

Online Purchase: Orca is offering a 15% discount on all Orca wetsuits with code SAAPARTICIPANT15.


Schedule is tentative and subject to change

7:30am: Venues open

  • Finish Area (9910 Cherokee Rd) – for packet pick-up
  • Start Area (10610 Cherokee Rd) – for float drop-off, inflation and staging

8:30am: Bus departs Finish area (9910 Cherokee Rd) every 10-minutes to Start area (10610 Cherokee Rd)

9:00am: Swimmers start

9:30am: Floaters start

10:30am: River Clear

1:00pm: Event ends


North America

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