Great Chesapeake Bay Swim

The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim (GCBS) crosses the bay between the twin spans of the Bay Bridge (US 50/301) connecting Maryland's western shore north of Annapolis to its eastern shore at Stevensville on Kent Island. The event is superbly organized and staffed by scores of helpful volunteers on both water and shore. Advanced registration by online lottery is required.

In addition to the 4.4 mi. course, the GCBS offers a Mile Bay Challenge, held near the 4.4's finish.

When, what, where
Jun 9, Sunday, 6:00 AM; 4.4 mi; Chesapeake Bay; 🌎 Stevensville, MD (Park & Ride, Thompson Creek Rd & MD-8/Romancoke Rd).
See also
Event's website. Lin-Mark. NOAA Buoy. Marine forecast.
Registration
From the Park & Ride lot, take the provided shuttle to check-in at Sandy Point Park, on the western shore. On exiting the shuttle bus, follow the crowd to the white tables and tents setup for check-in. Photo identification is required.
Parking
Park for free in the Park & Ride lot off of MD-8 on the eastern side of the Bay Bridge. Alternatively, park for a small fee along the adjacent road leading to the Bay Bridge Marina. (Access MD-8S via Route 301/50 exit 37 toward Romancoke).
Restrooms
Start: Two restroom buildings in the Park; expect some lines. Finish: A dozen or so portable toilets and outdoor showers.
Bags
Bags are transported from the start to the finish. At the start, wrap your gear in provided plastic (garbage) bag and write your name and race number on the outer bag with provided marker.
Wetsuits
Permitted, popular, no penalty.
Start
Start at Sandy Point State Park, on the western side. Shuttle buses take swimmers from the Park & Ride on the eastern side to the Park; take your gear with you on the shuttle bus to the Park. Be sure to board a bus marked for the 4.4-mile swim (rather than the 1-mile swim). Short running start from beach.
Course
The lionfish's share of the course follows the channel between the twin spans of the Bay Bridge. Start about 100 yards northeast of the channel, swim to and under the north span, and bear left into the channel. Swim eastward four-plus miles to the turning buoy shortly before the spans make landfall. Turn right, swim under the southern span, turn left, and follow the shoreline on your left about a quarter-mile to the finish. Swimmers must stay within the channel, except for the terminal segments. The bridges serve as huge lane-lines, so navigation is easy. The conditions can be challenging if the tides and current so desire. The water is brackish.
Finish
Walking finish from bay onto small beach at Bay Bridge Marina. Volunteers remove ankle chips and assist swimmers with wobbly legs. Refreshments, showers, bags, and awards at finish. Volunteers retrieve bags for swimmers. Shuttle buses take swimmers back to Park & Ride.
Timing
Electronic ankle chip, body marking.
Amenities
T-shirt, cap. Refreshment boats along course. Varied and plentiful refreshments at finish. Open-air showers at finish.
Inception
1984
Last wet-feet review
2007