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Welcome to the Swim Across America - San Francisco Bay Area Open Water Swim!

We are excited to announce a NEW format for The 16th annual SAA - SF Bay Area to be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021. Join us for in a point-to-point 1.5 mile swim starting at Little Marina Green and finishing in Aquatic Park. We welcome swimmers of all ages and skill levels to help us fight cancer at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals!

Thank you for making our 2021 swim a success! You can still register as a virtual SAA My Way participant and fundraise to support local cancer research this year.

6:30am: Swimmer Check In Begins
8:30am: Swim Start!
9:30-10:00am Swim Ends
Little Marina Green
3650 Yacht Rd
San Francisco, CA 94123
Swim Options
1.5 mile
SAA My Way (Virtual)
16+: $500
Under 16: $300

Welcome to the Swim Across America - San Francisco Bay Area Open Water Swim! Established in 2006, SAA - San Francisco has donated over $5.1 million to our beneficiaries: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals (Oakland and San Francisco). Thank you for your support of cancer research in the Bay Area.

Each year we are proud to host over 500 swimmers, volunteers, spectators and supporters, as well as Olympians from near and far at our charity swim. We are so excited for our NEW event format in 2021! Join us for a point-to-point 1.5 mile swim starting at Little Marina Green and finishing in Aquatic Park.

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.

If you have any questions about SAA - San Francisco, please contact Nathaniel Berger.


Proceeds from the swim will support cancer research and patient care at our two local beneficiaries: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program. In 2019 we gifted $620,000 to these programs.


General Fundraising Requirement:

All swimmers are required to raise at least $500* by the event day in order to swim.

Remember, this is a fundraising event, and we ask all of our swimmers to put forth a concerted effort to raise money for cancer research. Most swimmers find that it is surprisingly easy to raise money, especially those swimmers who use the website we provide to update their personal page and send emails.

*Swimmers who are 16 years of age or under on September 19 are required to raise a minimum of $300.

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.

Swim as an Individual, or on a Team:

A person may elect to swim 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. Being a member of a team can be motivating, inspirational and rewarding for everyone involved with Swim Across America. There is a friendly competition among all the teams, which makes it even that much more fun and challenging. All individual team members are still required to meet the individual fundraising minimum of $500.

Distance Options:

  • 1.5 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 9 with a registration fee of $50
  • Register between July 10 and September 10 with a registration fee of $75
  • Register between September 11 and September 19 with a registration fee of $100
  • Note: Swimmer Registration Closes on Sunday September 19th at 11:59pm

Wetsuit Policy, Rentals and Purchases:

Because of the cold nature of our open water environment, wetsuits are required. Should you not want to wear a wetsuit for any reason, please clear this decision with our Safety Director, Nathaniel Berger ( Only those cleared will be allowed to swim without wetsuit. Please read our full wetsuit policy and tips on our Policies Page.

Online Rental: is offering 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.

Safety Document and Waiver:

All swimmers must thoroughly review the 2021 Swimmer Safety Document.

All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.

Need Swim Training?

You should train in Open Water before your September Swim! Information on SAA sponsored training events is available here!


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-San Francisco event. If you meet the fundraising minimum and later choose to join us at the swim, we can change your registration status. 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 run 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 paddle boarders 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 Shavon Borjas.


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.

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
c/o Nathaniel Berger
921 Church St.
San Francisco, CA 94114

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


2021 Return to Events Updates:

Swim Across America is dedicated to providing a safe return to events in 2021. Our calendar will include both open water swims as well as the "SAA My Way" option for those that choose to participate virtually. In 2021, our swims will be following local, state and national guidelinesas well as collaborating with leading experts in the risk management, event, medical, and aquatics communities. COVID 19 might impact how we host our charity swims this year and Swim Across America appreciates your understanding and adoption of essential adjustments as we continue our commitment to safety as the number one priority for our participants, volunteers and community. Our 2021 Return to Events Updates can be found here and please check this page regularly for any necessary changes to information about your swim.

SAA Safety & Policies:

Swim Across America makes participant safety 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.

Our Safety Director is responsible for coordinating all activities within the event, and works closely with both the SF Police and U.S. Coast Guard to ensure swimmer safety. We will have the SF Police Department out on the course with us, as well as many safety kayakers and zodiacs to ensure swimmer safety at all times. All boats are able to communicate via both hand held and ship to shore radios. All swimmers are required to follow extremely important and very specific procedures to participate in the event.

These procedures are designed to protect swimmers from injury and will be enforced by the Safety Director and all authorities affiliated with the event. Swimmers are expected to be competent swimmers and able to swim in extremely cold water comfortably. All swimmers are encouraged to wear wetsuits for this event as the water temperature in the Bay is extremely cold. This event is not appropriate for inexperienced or novice swimmers.

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

Safety Document and Waiver:

All swimmers should throughly review the 2021 Swimmer Safety Document.

All swimmers and volunteers must complete the waiver found here.


Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

4:30am: Leadership Team Arrives Little Marina Green and/or Aquatic Park for final setup.

5:30am: Volunteers arrive at Little Marina Green or Aquatic Park (volunteers will receive instructions via email before the event).

6:30am: Swimmer Check In Begins at Little Marina Green

7:30am: Swimmer Check In Ends

7:45am: Swimmer Safety Briefing / Why I Swim Speeches

8:00am: Safety Vessels Arrive / Enter Water at LMG

8:15am: Swimmer Bag Drop Closes

8:30am: Swim Start!

~9:30-10:00am Swim Ends at Aquatic Park


Swim Starting Location

Little Marina Green
3650 Yacht Rd, San Francisco, CA 94123

Course Map

Swim Starting Location

For swimmers arriving at the start of the swim, there is available parking at Crissy Field. Please note that there will not be transportation provided back to your vehicle from the swim finish.

For family and spectators parking at the finish of the swim at Aquatic Park, we recommend parking at the Beach & Hyde garage located at 655 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94109.


Click here to find open water swimming recommendations and training tips specific to SAA San Francisco.

You should train in Open Water before your September Swim!



San Mateo Athletic Club
Swim, Run, Walk or Dance to Fight Cancer
Date: TBA 2021


The Swim Across America Junior Advisory Board is a volunteer group of select middle and high school students who were selected by the SAA Core Committee through an application process to lead their school or club swim team in participation, team-building and fundraising. For more information on the Junior Advisory Board, email the advisor Jessica Cooper.

2021 Junior Advisory Board Members:

To be announced


2017 SAA-San Francisco:


If you have any questions about SAA - San Francisco, please contact Nathaniel Berger or Shavon Borjas.

  • You can support Swim Across America by becoming a Basementeer! Sports Basement is spinning the traditional “loyalty” program into a win-win for their loyal customers and our community. When you pay a one time $25 membership fee to become a Basemeteer you receive 10% off all future purchases and give 10% of profit share to Swim Across America. Sign up here!




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