From Openwaterpedia

noun - VOWSA (Vancouver Open Water Swimming Association) is an open water swimming governing body that organizes and governs an open water swim series in Vancouver, Canada. The Vancouver Open Water Swim Association is a registered Society under the Society Act of the Province of British Columbia. It is dedicated to creating safe and enjoyable open water swim opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. It is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization and have operated and grown its open water swim series on that basis.


  • Canada Day Race is held annually in early July in the Sasamat Lake (White Pine Beach) (north of Port Moody) in Vancouver. The distances are 1 km, 2 km, 4 km
  • Bay Challenge is held annually in late July. The 82nd edition is limited to 50 swimmers. The 9 km race for solo swimmers and relays is from Sandy Cove (West Vancouver) to Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver.
  • Kitsilano Race is held annually in mid-August at Kitsilano Beach. The distances are 1.5 km, 3 km, 6 km, 4 x 1.5 km Relay


Proceeds from the Open Water Swim Series support the BC Special Olympics, and the Vancouver Lifeguard Association. BC Special Olympics provides individuals with mental disabilities the opportunity to enhance their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences. The Vancouver Lifeguard Association’s purpose is to raise public awareness of the needs of water safety, provide lifesaving and first aid training, offer lifeguard services for major public events and support sport competitions as a means of improving skills and abilities.

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