Open Water Practice Swims with Covid-19 Restrictions

Important Disclaimer


Racine MultiSports is offering the opportunity to begin practice swims at Fort Ritchie while adhering strictly to COVID-19 guidelines from Governor Hogan. Current restrictions with Phase 2, as of June 12, 2020, removes the gathering limit but social distancing and wearing face masks still apply. Given this change we are increasing our capacity but will have the same rules and process in place. Please see details below.

It is critical that you come to these practice swims fully prepared and knowledgeable of the plan below. With the COVID-19 restrictions, this is not our normal process, so do not assume you know the routine! Your failure to read the plan, not follow the rules and/or not being prepared could result in you being prohibited from participating, losing of your entry fee, and/or shutting down our swims. This plan requires everyone to do their part!

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 we ask that you do not participant if you are not feeling well or have a fever.

All registration must be done online prior to the swim date, no exceptions. A limited number of entries will be allowed for each practice date and sessions on each day. Registration will close once all spots sell out for a session and date. If a date is not sold out, the cutoff for registration will be 6pm the evening before each swim.

No refunds or transfers allowed. All sales are final.

Fort Ritchie is private property and Racine MultiSports has exclusive rights to use the lake for these swims.  Swimming is otherwise prohibited in Lake Royer outside of our organized practice swims.

These swims are “at your own risk”.  We do not provide lifeguards or emergency medical support during these practice swims. You must use your own judgement on what you can handle with respect to water conditions and your ability to swim in open water.

We invite new open water swimmers to practice with us.  We require that you are comfortable swimming laps in a pool before trying open water swimming.  Keep in mind we do not have lifeguards at our practice swims.  We will require new open water swimmers to wear a flotation device (New Wave Swim Buoy) so that we can see you. It will also give you flotation to hang on to any time you might need it.  The buoy does not alter your swimming but floats behind you providing visibility and safety. The lake has a shallow section that you can practice in before heading out to deeper water.  We thank our friends at New Wave Swim Buoy for providing us with the New Wave Swim Buoys.

Swim Dates

We are using Saturdays and Sundays given there are no races currently scheduled. This is subject to change as we advance through the COVID-19 reopening phases.

If you are interested in a date that is sold out please use the Wait List button below to be added to the list. If we have cancellations or if we can expand the swim session size we will pull those of you off the Wait List first! There is no payment to be on the list. If a spot opens you will get an email inviting you to take it. You will have 12 hours to sign up or decline. If you do not respond the offer goes away after 12 hours and goes to the next person in line.

Practice Swim 1: Saturday, May 30- SOLD OUT

Water temp 69 degrees, air temp 72, sunny and calm

Practice Swim 2: Sunday, May 30- SOLD OUT

Water temp 69 degrees, air temp 57 degrees, sunny and breezy

Practice Swim 3: Saturday, June 6- SOLD OUT

Water temp 74 degrees, air temp 75 degrees, sunny and breezy

Practice Swim 4: Sunday, June 7- SOLD OUT

Water temp 74 degrees, air temp 65 degrees, sunny and breezy

Practice Swim 5: Saturday, June 13- SOLD OUT

Water temp 77 degrees, air temp 60-70 degrees, sunny and calm

Practice Swim 6: Saturday, June 20-

Water temp 77+ degrees, air temp 65 degrees, partly sunny, rainy and calm

Practice Swim 7: Saturday, June 27-

Water temp 75 degrees, air temp 72-80 degrees, partly sunny, breezy

Practice Swim 8: Sunday, June 28- 


Practice Swim 9: Sunday, July 12-
Now with two course options
1- Longer 225 meter triangle course
2- Shorter 150 meter out and back course

Practice Swim 10: Saturday, July 18-
Now with two course options
1- Longer 225 meter triangle course
2- Shorter 150 meter out and back course

Practice Swim 11: Saturday, July 25-
Now with two course options
1- Longer 225 meter triangle course
2- Shorter 150 meter out and back course

Practice Swim 12 Saturday, August 1-
Now with two course options
1- Longer 225 meter triangle course
2- Shorter 150 meter out and back course

Practice Swim 13: Saturday, August 8-
Now with two course options
1- Longer 225 meter triangle course
2- Shorter 150 meter out and back course


These rules are designed for your health and safety as well as those around you. They must be followed! Your failure follow the rules could result in you being prohibited from participating, losing of your entry fee, and/or shutting down our swims. This plan requires everyone to do their part!

  1. Do not participate if you are feeling sick or have a fever
  2. Please bring a mask and wear it while in the check-in process, staging zone and using the bathrooms.
  3. Please refrain from physical touch of others if you did not travel with them.
  4. Only 8 swimmers per session inside the staging zone.
  5. No spectators allowed in the staging zone or in the bathrooms. Bathrooms for paid swimmers only.
  6. We prefer you come alone or with other swimmers to minimize the perception of us exceeding 10 people.
  7. Bathrooms will be limited to 1 person per gender during your practice session. You will not be allowed to use the bathrooms outside of your scheduled session.
  8. No changing of clothes is permitted the restrooms. Please change at your car. This will ensure less lines for the bathroom and limit your time in the bathroom.
  9. Social distancing must be followed while on the Fort Ritchie property, not just while in the swim area.
  10. Scheduled Check In and Swim times must be followed. Please be on time!
  11. Parking must be in designated parking spots (NO PARKING ON GRASS). We encourage you to leave an open space between cars.
  12. If you plan to bike or run after the swim, you will be responsible for maintaining social distancing rules. We ask that you move your car away from the swim area and park near the Community Center.
  13. Community Center will not be open while in Phase 1.

Swim Format – COVID-19 

A very specific process is in place to ensure we follow social distancing rules. Please refer to the map which will illustrate this format.

With Phase 2 we are no longer restricted by a gathering limit. We will now allow 20 swimmers per session. We will require participants to pre-register online which will allow a non-contact check in process. The check in line will be staged with more than 6 feet of separation. As participants check in they will line up in the order of arrival. The check in spot in line will correspond to their staging area on the grass (check in spot #1 goes to staging spot #1, etc.). Staging spots on the grass will be 10 feet apart to allow for gear to spread out. Participants will remain in the check in line until their staging cone becomes available. Once cleared, participants will advance to their staging cone and get ready for their swim. Social distancing will be the participant’s responsibility while moving about on land and while walking in and out of the water. While on the swim course participants will navigate around a 150 meter loop (75 meters each way) and can distance themselves as they feel comfortable. Once the time limit is reached all swimmers must exit promptly, walk to their staging cone, gather their belongings and promptly exit the grass to their car to allow the next set of participants to advance.

Schedule: Check In, Staging, Swim
Practice Swim Session 1 (20 swimmers): Check In: 8:00am-8:15am, Staging: 8:15am- 8:30am, Swim: 8:30am-9:30am

Practice Swim Session 2 (20 swimmers): Check In: 9:15am-9:30am, Staging: 9:30am-9:45am, Swim: 9:45am-10:45am

Practice Swim Session 3 (20 swimmers): Check In: 10:30am-10:45am, Staging: 10:45am-11:00am, Swim: 11:00am-12:00pm

Practice Swim Session 4 (20 swimmers): Check In: 11:45am-12:00pm, Staging: 12:00pm-12:15pm, Swim: 12:15pm-1:15pm

Pre-Swim Briefing:
For each practice session time there will be a pre-swim briefing. The briefing will begin once all 20 swimmers are checked in. Entry into the water will be permitted once the briefing concludes and the water is cleared from the previous session.

Swim Course Details

Swim Course:

We will use a two buoy course with a swim line connecting them. This will be 75 meters each way or 150 meters for each loop. Swimmers can swim as many loops as they wish in the 1 hour time limit. Please refer to the map for a visual.

Water Quality:

The water is tested each season to ensure E. coli levels are safe for swimming. This year’s rating is 11 part per million with a tolerance for safe swimming at 125 part per million. However, even though the water test is good, this lake is prone to under water vegetation that can reach the surface. We will try to work around this but cannot guarantee vegetation free water.

Water Temperature:

The water temperature will vary throughout the season. We expect the temps to be above 70 for our first swim. Always bring a wetsuit to our swims just in case. As you arrive the water temp will be posted.

Registration and Check In Process

Registration Opens at Noon on Monday May 25th

All registration will be online only, NO REGISTRATION AT THE PRACTICE SWIM.

Once a session reaches 8 swimmers that session will close out. We will have 4 sessions each swim. Once we reach 32 swimmers for a given date, that practice swim will close. We can consider scaling up once we have a few swims running smoothly and we have interest.

Cost is $20.00 plus a registration fee of $2.50. NO DISCOUNTS offered. The cost to produce these swims is high (water testing, insurance, supplies, labor).

All registration is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Check-In for these swims will be touchless, nothing to sign, no payments processed, no handouts given. When you check in for your practice swim session you will need all your gear. Social distancing rules will apply and there will be a visual process to follow. You will stand in the check-in line at the next available spot. You must follow the schedule to ensure no interruption to other participants. We will check you in from a distance by verifying you are on the roster. Once checked in you will be told when to advanced to your staging cone to get ready for your swim. Please see the map for a visual.


We thank our long time sponsor, Wetsuit Wearhouse, for their continued support in providing a 15% discount on top quality wetsuits to our fans and followers. They also rent wetsuits (see above). Contact them to schedule a fitting at their store in Williamsport, MD, or buy online. Make sure you mention Racine MultiSports to get your discount!

Wetsuit Wearhouse
400 South Conococheague St
Williamsport, MD 21795 US
Customer Service: (866)-906-7848

New Wave Swim Buoy is a Trusted Companion for Open Water Swimmers.
It provides:
– Visibility in Open Water
– Safe Place to Float and Rest
– Storage for Personal Items

To Purchase your own:

Use Amazon promo code “LurayTri” at checkout for 10% on any New Wave Swim Buoy on Amazon ( simply search for “New Wave Swim Buoy” on SEVEN amazon markets:, Amazon.CA, Amazon.DE, UK, SP, FR, IT). The same promo code “LurayTri” will apply on our US-based estore including swag (swim cap, phone pouch, towels, visors, keychains).

Ken:   301-991-0461