For another year, some of the area's strongest swimmers will help others master the water.
Proceeds from today's sixth annual Beaufort River Swim go to support the Wardle Family YMCA's Learn to Swim programs. In 2011, the race raised more than $5,000 for the programs, YMCA membership marketing director Holly Cordray said. The funding allows the YMCA to offer free and discounted swim lessons. Free swim lessons also have been given through area schools.
Tide and weather often determine the winning time. The race time has been pushed back to 8:30 a.m. to take advanatge of the best tide, with participants meeting at Beaufort Downtown Marina.
Nineteen-year-old Charlie Bolgan was the first overall finisher last year, swimming the course in 44 minutes, 18 seconds. Hilton Head Aquatics swimmer Camille Felix was the top female finisher.
The top overall male and female finishers and the top finishers in each age group will receive a bobblehead. Every participant will be given a ribbon.
Cordray said 125 swimmers had registered as of Friday afternoon. About 150 participants are expected after the walk-up entries are tallied today.
"Last year was kind of rough, because it stormed the night before," Cordray said. "Pre-registrants are up from last year. And the weather is supposed to be nice."
6TH ANNUAL BEAUFORT RIVER SWIM
What: Three-mile swim from Port Royal Landing to downtown Beaufort
When: Check-in 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., race 8:30 a.m.
Where: Beaufort Downtown Marina