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Welcome to the second annual Swim Across America - Charlotte Open Water Swim. Swimmers and supporters of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in our event in Lake Norman. Proceeds from the swim will support leukemia research at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte.


Our Swim is not a competition, but a fundraising event for everyone, both swimmers and volunteers. Choose a distance to swim or sign up as an event volunteer. Either way we welcome you to the Swim Across America family and our efforts to “Make Waves to Fight Cancer!”

As a swimmer, you will be expected to raise a minimum amount of money. There are no minimum fundraising amounts for event volunteers, however, we do encourage you to do so if possible.

We do have several corporate sponsors that help underwrite the event expenses so that the majority of the monies that participants raise go directly to our beneficiary, Levine Cancer Institute. To see more about SAA giving and non-profit ratings please click here.

If you have any questions about SAA - Charlotte, please contact Mary McCullagh.


General Fundraising Requirements:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day.
Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $250 by event day.

Participate and Fundraise as an Individual, or on a Team

A person may elect to swim alone or be part of a fundraising team. Grab your colleagues, high school, college alums or neighborhood friends and form a team. Many of our teams swim in honor or memory of a loved one. Teams are inspirational and rewarding for all of us involved with Swim Across America and there is no limit to how many team members you can have on it. All team members are still responsible to meet the fundraising minimums based on their age, swim distance or WaveMaker status.

Distance Options:

  • 0.5 Mile
  • 1.5 Mile
  • 3.0 Mile
  • 2 Mile Team Relay (1/2 mile loop, 4 swimmers on the relay)

WaveMaker Swimmer: $1,000 minimum:

WaveMakers are elite SAA fundraisers and go above and beyond the call of duty by pledging to raise at least $1,000 regardless of age. You can sign up for any of the 3 swim distances. WaveMakers get an exclusive WM gift and access to other event swag and perks.

Registration Fees:

There is a registration fee that will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The registration fee will change as follows:

  • Register before August 16th with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between August 17th and September 1st with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between September 2nd and event day with a registration fee of $100

Online registration will close 48 hours prior to the swim! Event day registration may still be available if space permits.


2:15pm: Volunteers arrive

2:45pm: Registration/Check-in begins

3:40pm: Opening Remarks/Safety Talk/Group Photo/National Anthem

4:00pm: 3-mile start

4:30pm: 1.5 mile start

4:40pm: ½ mile start

5:30-6pm: Swim Finish/Awards

5:30-7pm: Picnic Dinner


If this is your first time participating or if you just need some tips to be a better fundraiser, click here. It will walk you through the participant center and teach you how to email donors, share on social media sites and download the fundraising app.

You may support the swimmer of your choice by making an online donation. Or you may send a check, payable to Swim Across America, to the address below:

Swim Across America, Inc.
11600 N. Community House Rd, #100
Charlotte, NC 28277

Make sure to include a note with the name of the swimmer you are donating to.


Course Map

2016 Atlanta Map

Lake Norman YMCA Lakefront

Swim Across America Charlotte takes place in Lake Norman and features an in-water start with the water temperature historically in the low 80’s so wetsuits are hardly ever permitted. The rectangular shaped course starts right at the beach at the YMCA. The water is usually very flat as the course is situated in a protected area of the lake that is sheltered from the wind.


Swim Across America makes swimmer safety the most important component of all our swimming events. A Safety Director is responsible for coordinating all activities within an event, and works closely with the local Fire, Police and EMTs to ensure swimmer safety. We will have a number of lifeguards, safety kayakers and safety boats out on the course at all times. All boats are able to communicate via both hand held and ship to shore radios. All swimmers are required to follow specific procedures designed to protect participants from injury. These will be enforced by the Safety Director.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here. Please bring it with you to the event.



Lake Norman YMCA
21300 Davidson Street
Cornelius, NC  28031
704 716 4400


Main parking will be at the YMCA Parking Lot: 21300 Davidson St. Cornelius, NC 21300. Here is a detailed link with a map.

Back-up Parking:

Backup Parking available at these locations (shuttles available as needed):
Ada Jenkins: 212 Gamble St. Davidson, NC
Cornelius Elementary: 21126 Catawba Ave. Cornelius, NC 21126


Check back for announcements!


Queens University Pool Swim

Levine Center Recreation Center at Queens University
Date: TBA

Start A Pool Swim

Interested in raising money for SAA - Charlotte, but not sure you're ready for the open water? Why not start a pool swim? Gather together your family, friends or team for a day at the pool. Email us to learn more!