Welcome to the third 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.
Proceeds from the swim will support leukemia research at Levine Cancer Institute (Atrium Health) in Charlotte, N.C.
Registrations: 299 Goal: 165000
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.
Swim Across America, Inc. (“SAA”) is a nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax ID #22-3248256)
If you have any questions about SAA - Charlotte, please contact Mary McCullagh.
All swimmers are required to raise at least $400 by event day. Swimmers under 18 are required to raise $250 by event day.
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.
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.
There is a registration fee that will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The registration fee will change as follows:
Online registration will close 48 hours prior to the swim! Event day registration may still be available if space permits.
Schedule is tentative and subject to change.
1:15pm: Volunteers arrive
1:45pm: Registration/Check-in begins
2:40pm: Opening Remarks/Safety Talk/Group Photo/National Anthem
3:00pm: 3 mile start
3:00pm: 2 mile start
3:30pm: 1 mile start
3:40pm: ½ mile start
4:30-5pm: 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.
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 generally not needed. 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.
If you have questions about our policies regarding inclement weather, swim equipment or wetsuits, please consult our Policies page.
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.
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
Olympians present at 2018 Open Water Swim. 2019 Special Guests TBA.
Hannah Aspden: is a 2-time Bronze Medalist at 2016 Paralympic Games (youngest U.S. swimmer to medal in Rio) and current Queens University student-athlete.
Marko Blazevski: carried the Macedonian flag in the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics. At Wingate, Blazevski won the 400 Individual Medley national title for the third time in four years at the 2014 NCAA Division II national swimming championships. For his illustrious WU career, Blazevski collected 16 NCAA All-American trophies (12 individual, four relay) and four honorable mention laurels (four individual swims).
Karlee Bispo: American former competition swimmer. At the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Bispo won a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay with her teammates Katie Ledecky, Shannon Vreeland, and Missy Franklin. A graduate of the University of Texas, Karlee finished her Longhorns career as one of the most decorated swimmers in school history, earning 18 All-American honors and winning 18 Big 12 Championships. She was the 2011 Big 12 Swimmer of the Year and the Texas Women's Athlete of the Year in 2012. She is a two-time Academic All-American. Karlee is currently a nursing student at Queens University in Charlotte.
Charlie Houchin: Earned a gold medal as a member of the winning United States team in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Houchin was a US National Swim Team Member from 2009-2014. At the University of Michigan, he was awarded many All-American honors.
Lauren Perdue: At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she earned a gold medal by swimming for the winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. . At the University of Virginia, she won nineteen ACC championships, received sixteen All-American honors, and was named the ACC Swimmer of the Year and ACC Swimmer of the Championships in both 2010 and 2011.
Tharon Drake: Drake competes in the S11 classification for blind swimmers and holds 13 current American Records. He won silver medals in the 400 freestyle and the 100 breast at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Drake is also the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s swimming programs at Catawba College.
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!