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Welcome to the seventh annual Swim Across America - Charlotte Open Water Swim.
We are excited to host the 2023 open water swim event at Camp Thunderbird on Sunday, October 8 and welcome swimmers and volunteers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in our event. Proceeds from the swim will support cancer research at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.

Swimmer registration is now closed for the 2023 SAA-Charlotte Open Water Swim! You can still register as an SAA My Way virtual participant and fundraise all year.

12:00-12:45: Mandatory Check-in
1:30: Rolling Start
3:30: Post Event Celebration
Camp Thunderbird
1 Thunderbird Ln
Lake Wylie, SC 29710
Swim Options
.5 mile, 1 mile, 2 miles
SAA My Way (Virtual)
18+: $400
Under 18: $250

Welcome to the Swim Across America - Charlotte Open Water Swim! Established in 2017, SAA - Charlotte has donated over $750,000 to our beneficiaries: Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children's Hospital. Thank you for your support of cancer care in Charlotte.

Each year we are proud to host over 300 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 7th annual swim on October 8th at Camp Thunderbird!

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."


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.

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.

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. 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
  • 1.0 Mile
  • 2.0 Mile

Registration Self-Donation:

Swimmers will be asked to kickstart your fundraising and let your supporters know you are personally committed to the mission of SAA. The registration self-donation is a 100% tax deductible donation that will be will be credited towards each swimmer's fundraising minimum. The minimum self-donation amount will change as follows:

  • Register before July 10 with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between July 10 and September 11 with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between September 11 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.


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

Wetsuit Rentals and Purchases:

Online Wetsuit Purchase: Orca is an SAA wetsuit partner offering a 20% discount on all Orca purchases with code SAA20

Online Wetsuit Rental: Kit Lender is offering a 10% discount off any Wetsuit or Kit rental. Wetsuit rentals start at just $42/event. Orders placed at least 7 days in advance include free roundtrip shipping. Orders can typically be placed up to 2 days before the event. Get started HERE.


With grant support from Swim Across America - Charlotte, researchers at Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital aim to make progress with the following projects. Since 2017, Swim Across America - Charlotte has awarded more than $750,000 to fund research and education programs at LCI. Read more about the current funded projects on our blog and in the latest impact report.


What is SAA MY WAY?

SAA My Way is our virtual offering where you decide your activity and timeline. Register with a $50 self-donation and we’ll send you an SAA Swag Bag to show off your spirit. All donations raised for your My Way will support our SAA-Charlotte event. Click here to learn about all the ways you can have fun your way!

To sign up as an SAA My Way participant for our event, click the register button above and select 'SAA My Way' as your participation type.


Volunteers are the backbone of the Swim Across America Family ensuring our event runs smoothly from beginning to end. Even if you aren’t a swimmer, you can still help us in the fight against cancer. Don’t forget, volunteers can fundraise too! Ready to volunteer with us? Click on the Register button and select the Volunteer participation type.

Land Volunteers

Land Volunteers staff all aspects of our event on land. You can anticipate helping with set up, swimmer check-in, finish line support, hospitality and post-swim events/clean up.

Water Volunteers

Water volunteers consist of kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and power boaters that provide crucial logistical and safety support to our event officials and for our swimmers. They will monitor the swim lane, keep an active eye on all our swimmers and communicate any swimmer issues to our event officials.

Questions about volunteering? Check out our SAA Volunteer Page or contact our Volunteer Coordinator - Trudy Wakeman


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 can find more helpful resources on our fundraising resources page.

NEW! Watch these instructional videos to learn how to register, update your participant center, connect to Facebook and more!

Be a WaveMaker by taking your fundraising to the next level and raising $1000! 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.

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.
8508 Park Road, #389
Charlotte, NC 28210

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


SAA Safety & Policies:

Participant safety is the most important component of all our events. All swimmers will be asked to follow specific safety procedures and policies to participate, as well as comply with SAA safety personnel, including local and government entities, Lifeguards, and water safety volunteers. Participants are responsible for adequately preparing for their registered event. We ask that all participants review the information packet provided in advance of event day, as well as attend the day-of safety briefing for important safety information.


All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.

If you have questions about our policies regarding inclement weather, swim equipment or wetsuits, please consult our Policies page.


Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

11:00 am: Volunteers Arrive

12:00 pm: Registration Opens! (Closes at 12:45)

1:00 pm: Welcome Program

1:20 pm: Mandatory Safety Talk

1:30 pm: 2 Mile Swim Start

1:35 pm: 1 Mile Swim Start

1:40 pm: 1/2 Mile Swim Start

3:30 pm: Swim Finishes

3:30 pm: Post Swim Meal + Event Clean Up



YMCA Camp Thunderbird.

1 Thunderbird Ln,
Lake Wylie, South Carolina 29710

Course Map




We are excited to introduce the Inaugural Swim Across America Charlotte Junior Advisory Board (JAB) in 2023. The JAB will be comprised of up to 20 young leaders from area high schools and club teams. Coaches from high schools and clubs will nominate 2-5 leaders who are invited to complete the on-line application process on the Swim Across America Charlotte website.

The application process is complete! Congratulations to the inaugural Junior Advisory Board Swim Across America Charlotte!

For questions, please email Kaleigh Hart.


Burcham Barlas

Zetta Grace Bartee

Granger Bartee

Abby Druhan

Davis Dunham

Alden Fletcher

Danny Guenther

Kelsi Hart

Kaleigh (KK) Hart

Aidan Hill

Lanie Holden

Caroline Meehan

Ivy Monk

Sofia Plaza

Karlin Smith

Bryce Spangler

Kiley Wilhelm


Park Crossing Pool Swim

When: Summer 2023
Where: Park Crossing Neighborhood Pool
Charlotte, NC 28210

Charlotte Swims Against Cancer

Where: Mecklenberg County Aquatic Center
800 East Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.,
Charlotte, NC 28202

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!



Here are some recent stories that display the impact all the members of the Swim Across America family have had in the Charlotte community.

SAA-Charlotte Video:


If you have any questions about SAA - Charlotte, please contact Patty Waldron.



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