Cancellation Policy

Golfers like to say “it never rains on the golf course.” Similarly, it never rains when you open water swim – or at least, if it does rain, it doesn’t matter. We are already wet!

That said, we at the SWOOWS value your safety above any race result or spoiled night swim or training session. For this reason, we have implemented cancellation guidelines that reference organizations like FINA, ITU, and SOLO Swims, and that are intended to keep you safe.

Our series is actually an amalgamation of independent OWS events, hosted by like minded event directors. The event director for any given SWOOWS activity will have the final say in implementing and interpreting any/all of the following guidelines.

Lightning storms can be very dangerous for open water swimmers. As such, it is advisable for an event director to delay or cancel a SWOOWS event if lighting or thunder is forecast for the start of a SWOOWS event, or any time during the 6 hours after the start of a SWOOWS event.

While rain might not affect our swimmers, heavy rain can sure put a damper on the day for our volunteers. As well, heavy rain in the 24-hour period prior to an event can increase bacteria levels in waterways. It is advisable for an event director to delay or cancel an event if heavy rain occurs within 24 hours of an event, or is forecast during the event timeline.

Wind can also play havoc on currents and support boats. It is advisable for an event director to delay or cancel a SWOOWS event if sustained winds greater than 15 knots (28km/h) are forecast.

Waves can be a lot of fun to train in, but can be dangerous, depending on your level of experience and comfort. It is advisable for an event director to delay or cancel a SWOOWS event where sustained waves greater than 1 metre, trough to crest, are present. Wave surges greater than 1m are a reality, especially in Great Lakes, so we ask that all swimmers exercise their own discretion when deciding to participate in a SWOOWS event where waves are present.

SWOOWS believes in inclusivity, and as such, we allow swimmers to choose to wear wetsuits, or not, depending on their comfort.

However, water temperature can have a detrimental effect on performance and swimmer health. As such, SWOOWS event directors are advised to adhere to the following water temperature guidelines.

Below 50oF/10oC : Event Cancellation*
Between 50oF – 60oF / 10oC – 16oC : Wetsuits are mandatory, or strongly suggested.
Between 60oF – 75oF / 16oC – 24oC : Both wetsuits and skins swimming are acceptable.
Between 75oF – 90oF / 24oC – 32oC : Wetsuits not allowed, or strongly discouraged.
Above 90oF/32oC : Event Cancellation
* Special provisions may be considered, if a SWOOWS event is designated a cold-water swim. A special waiver reflecting this must be signed.

If a SWOOWS training session has to be cancelled, every attempt will be made to reschedule your training at a mutually agreed upon time.

In the event of a race cancellation, no refunds will be issued. This is because event directors have already spent the majority of their budget prior to the event. Our suppliers and partners won’t give refunds, so we can’t either.

Due to the nature of night swims, a cancellation cannot be rescheduled. We can consider transferring your registration to a future night swim, if you should wish to do so.

Scroll to Top