2023 Women Swimmin' for Hospicare

Swim Day schedule for paddlers can be found here

Safety Information for Women Swimmin’ for Hospicare

Women Swimmin' for Hospicare is a community swim (not a race!) that raises money to support the mission of Hospicare & Palliative Care Services. The safety of all participants, volunteers, staff and guests is of utmost importance! This is a large event with many participants of varying ages and abilities, so it is important for everyone to be aware of the roles each person plays, and other information or procedures set up to ensure the safety of everyone present.

Please read the WS Safety Manual for Swimmers and Paddlers to understand how we all work together to make sure everyone has a fun and very safe swim. Information in the Manual includes:

  • Expectations and requirements for Swimmers, including physical ability, equipment to use or not use
  • Expectations and requirements for Paddlers, including equipment to have in your vessel
  • Procedures on how paddlers support swimmers as they cross the lake
  • Information on how swimmers and paddlers communicate and work together to ensure a fun and safe swim for everyone.

Cancellations Due to Weather or Environmental Conditions

There will be no “rain date”. If there is uncertainty about lake conditions due to weather (a threat of a storm, rough water, etc.) or environmental concerns (the presence of harmful algae blooms (HABs), air quality, etc.) the Safety Team will assess the situation the morning of the swim and post updates on the Women Swimmin' Facebook page

The Swim Course

The swim course is marked by a single line of buoys along the middle of the course. Line Safety Paddlers (LSP) and the Kayak Safety Team (KST) are deployed in roving positions along the sides of the course. They’re available to assist swimmers and other paddlers as needed and to help swimmers and Escort Paddlers stay on course for IYC.

Crossing the Lake

Swimmers enter the water via a ramp with handrails on both sides, pushing off into approximately waist-deep water. The Swimming Coordinator on shore will let each pod know when to enter the water. There is also an Escort Wrangler in a kayak near the entry point who will connect the swimmers to their assigned Escort Paddlers.

Some Swimmers want to stay with an Escort Paddler for the entire way across the lake. Other Swimmers prefer to head out at their own pace. Swimmers should let their Escort Paddlers know at the beginning what their preference is.

Each swimmer should feel free to swim at her own pace. More experienced or faster swimmers will pass other swimmers. Pods of swimmers who started out together will naturally drift apart as they make their way to the IYC. We expect this and have people and procedures in place to keep everyone safe. Each Swimmer’s job is to stay the course at her own pace. The Escort Paddler’s job is to stay close enough to maintain contact with Swimmers, while giving them space.

Please review the WS Safety Manual for Swimmers and Paddlers ADD LINK TO PDF to understand how Paddlers and Swimmers work together for everyone's safety, including information about:

  • How Paddlers will help redirect a Swimmer who has veered off course
  • How Escort Paddlers "pass off" Swimmers from one Escort to another, as needed
  • What a Swimmer should do if she's tired and needs a short rest
  • What happens if a Swimmer needs to leave the swim course, or is in distress

Finishing the Swim

Swimmers must exit the lake at the south dock. Climb one of the two ladders onto the dock. Make sure the check-out volunteers have checked your name off the list of swimmers so we know you've safely finished your swim. If you need to walk onto shore for some reason (physical limitations, leg cramps) you (or your Escort Paddler) must make sure the check-out volunteers get your name crossed off their list.

If you're an Escort Paddler who is also a Super Paddler, return to the East shore for your next pod assignment. All other escort paddlers are encouraged to join the LSP & KST lining the course. When you've finished your assigned duties, you should exit at the launch station at the Ithaca Yacht Club (where you put your boat in the water in the morning). Check-out at the tent by the launch when you're finished.