Open Water Practice Swims


We are pleased to offer the opportunity to practice open water swimming at such a low cost. These swims are designed to give newer to advanced swimmers an open water venue to practice swimming. We do not provide coaching at these practices but feel free to bring your own. Test a new wetsuit, swim with other people, learn to navigate without lap lanes, learn to sight buoys and make turns, measure your speed, and get comfortable in open water.

Read Below for information on Practice Swims
at Fort Ritchie in Lake Royer, Cascade, MD

Click button for information on Practice Swims in Lake Arrowhead in Luray, VA

Let the season begin! New this year we raised the rate to $15 if you register before the day of the swim. It is getting increasingly difficult to put on these swims and the time and expense of doing them is growing. As such we really need 20 swimmers as a minimum to hold the swims. So please work with your network and get people signed up! 

Open water swimming is strictly prohibited in Lake Royer unless organized by Racine MultiSports.

2019 Fort Ritchie Swim Dates:

Tuesday, April 30th- 6pm to 7:30pm – Water Temp was 64.5 degrees and air was 71 degrees

Wednesday, May 8th- 6pm to 7:30pm – Water Temp was 63 degrees and air temp was 63 degrees

Sunday, May 12th- 1 pm to 2:30 pm – Canceled (See Facebook post)

Tuesday, May 21st- 6pm to 7:30pm – Water Temp was 67 degrees and air temp was 64 degrees

Wednesday, May 29th- 6pm to 7:30pmCANCELED due to low registration. Only 4 people registered, need 20 minimum.

Tuesday, June 11th- 6pm to 7:30pm – Water Temp was 71 degrees and air temp was 72 degrees

Sunday, June 16th- 9am to 10:30am – Water Temp was 69 and air temp was 69 degrees

Saturday, July 6th- 9am to 10:30am – Water Temp was 79 and air temp was 75 degrees

Saturday, July 20th- 9am to 10:30am

Sunday, July 28th- 9am to 10:30am (LONG COURSE- 500 meters)

Lake Royer
(host of Fort Ritchie Triathlon and Swim Fest at Fort Ritchie)

Fort Ritchie
14421 Lake Royer Drive
Cascade, MD 21719

We have always strived to keep this opportunity as a low cost option. Our effort to provide these swims is getting increasingly more difficult so we are raising our rates this year.
$15.00 online pre-register (no money will be taken during online registration)
$20.00 onsite same day
Your 5th swim is free within the same calendar year!

All payments will be taken at the swim.
Payment can be credit card, cash, or check. Small credit card fee will apply.
Online registration closes at 8pm the night before morning swims and noon the day of evening swims. After that time you will be charged the same day rate.

Rental Program

Wetsuit Wearhouse now has a wetsuit rental program!

The Swim Practices are sponsored by Wetsuit Wearhouse, located in Williamsport, MD off of Rt. 81, exit 1. Mention that we sent you and receive a discount for on-line and in-store purchases! You can try on wetsuits in their retail store!

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.

Caution: 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.

New Open Water Swimmers:  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 you 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.

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).

Water Conditions:  The water in Lake Royer is clean and is usually free of underwater vegetation.  The lake is treated throughout the year to keep vegetation to a minimum.  Water temperatures will vary and once the water temp is over 65 degrees wetsuits will not be required.

Course:  The swim course changes based on the number of confirmed swimmers.  Course will be an out and back loop, either 150 meters or 300 meters around, swimming in a counter-clockwise direction.  The olympic distance swim is either 10 laps of the 150 course or 5 laps of the 300 lap course.

Services Offered:
-Swim course length varies depending on number of swimmers
-Turn buoys to practice sighting
-Kayaker with flotation aide (no life guards or emergency medical)
-Water for hydration
-Restrooms and Showers – Access to Community Center locker rooms after swim (except Holidays)
-Swim Caps if you do not have your own
-Water time will be 1.5 hours

-Only Racine MultiSports can organize the swims
-Swim caps must be worn for safety
-Must sign a waiver upon arriving (if you did not register on-line)
-Do not enter the water until authorized

-Register ahead of time to confirm your spot
-Visit the Community Center for rest rooms
-Park at the lake (see Map above)
-Arrive at the lake at least 30 minutes prior to swim time
-Sign waiver, pay and receive your swim cap at the lake

Ken: [email protected]   301-991-0461