Event Information for Swim Around Lido Key

5th Annual
Swim Around Lido Key
7-Mile Open Water Race
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Lido Key, Sarasota, FL

Athlete & Pilot Guide 
with Course Maps
Event Directors

David Miner: 941-545-9709
Steve Butler: 941-376-3524


Florida LMSC for USMS Sanction 149-W001
Florida Swimming for USA Swimming Official Approval OW-A-4708
About the Race

This is a 7-mile open water swim race around the beautiful island of Lido Key. Each solo swimmer will have a pilot (kayak escort) to provide safety, navigation, and nutrition to the swimmer. Swimmers can enter as a solo swimmer, 2-person relay, or 3-person relay. Relay teams must take turns swimming and paddling, meaning that each person swims a portion of the race and paddles the kayak a portion of the race. Relay swimmers cannot have a dedicated pilot!

NEW Venue Location (start/finish) for 2019
Ken Thompson Park
1799 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236

Eligibility and Registration
The race is open to all members of U.S. Masters Swimming and all ATHLETE members of USA Swimming.  Adults who are not current members of U.S. Masters Swimming may pay for a one-day membership during the online entry process; the one-day membership fee is $22.00 (in addition to the event entry fee). One-day memberships are NOT available for swimmers under the age of 18.

Relay team adults who are not current members of U.S. Masters Swimming may pay for a one-day membership during the online entry process; the one-day membership fee is $22.00 (in addition to the event entry fee). One-day memberships are NOT available for swimmers under the age of 18.

Only the first 165 entries accepted!

Solo - $200 - 
Register NOW!
2-person relay - $250 - 
Register NOW!
3-person relay - $300 - 
Register NOW!

Online registration will be open until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2019 or when 165 entries are received. NO RACE DAY ENTRIES. Online entries are paid by credit card to "ClubAssistant.com Events."

NO REFUNDS: If you can’t participate in the race for any reason or there are dangerous weather conditions and we have to cancel the race, there are no refunds, transfers, or deferrals for any reason. The cost of the event is fixed and the money has been spent come race day.

Entry fee provides the following:

  • Pre-race social and check-in at the Daiquiri Deck on St. Armand’s Circle – FREE drink coupon for each swimmer and pilot
  • Hired police boat, other motor boats, jet skis, and safety pilots for course monitoring
  • Excellent post race meal for each swimmer and pilot
  • FREE post race beer from our sponsor 
  • Swim Around Lido Key T-shirt for each swimmer and pilot
  • Finishers medal for all swimmers finishing the swim
  • Custom official race pint glass for each swimmer and pilot
  • Goodie bag for each swimmer and pilot with cool stuff from our sponsors

Pilot and Kayak Rentals

Pilots (escort kayakers)
If you're a solo swimmer and need us to provide a pilot for you, the cost is $65 and is paid during registration. $60 goes directly to the pilot and $5 is used for processing fees we incur.

NOTE: We can only guarantee 35 pilots. Once we hit 35 requests, we can no longer guarantee we will have a pilot for you. We will recruit as many pilots as possible, so you can always check with us to see if we secured more than 35.

Rental kayaks (Need to rent a kayak for the race?)
If so, rentals are available from our kayak sponsors. Give one of them a call and they will take care of your needs! Tell them you're doing the Swim Around Lido Key Race on Saturday, April 27, 2019. They will deliver the kayak to Lido Beach on race day morning and pick it up at the end of the race. Rental rates are $65 per kayak.

Paradise Adventures: Call 941-275-2971 (has tandem kayaks)
Island Style: Call Laurel at 941-954-1009
Silent Sports Outfitter: Call Tony at 941-966-5477 (has tandem kayaks)
Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures: Call Will at 540-460-1112

Pre-Race Social and Check-In

Our pre-race social and early check-in will take place on Friday, April 26 from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Daiquiri Deck on St. Armand’s Circle, Lido Key. You can check-in early and get your goodie bag and t-shirt. You can also enjoy a FREE drink provided by the Daiquiri Deck, order a great meal, and socialize with your friends and family. This is a great time to meet your pilot, so make sure you communicate with them about your plans to attend the social.

Race day morning check-in and body marking will take place under our tents immediately prior to the race.

Awards and Results

  • Finishers medal for each swimmer and relay team who completes the swim.
  • Solo swimmers: Awards will be given to the top five male and top five female swimmers
  • Relay teams: Awards will be given to the overall top five 2-person and 3-person relay teams.
  • All awards will be presented during the post race social under our tents.
  • Results will be available on this website shortly after the race.
About Lido Key

A gorgeous barrier island adjacent to Sarasota, Lido Key boasts some of Sarasota’s most beautiful beaches. With St. Armand’s Circle, Lido Key is a hub for excellent shopping and fine dining. Bring your family and friends to enjoy a great race and a special weekend exploring Lido Key and all that Sarasota offers. See http://www.visitsarasota.org for more information about Sarasota.

Rules, Details, and Important Information
  • ALL PILOTS MUST REGISTER AS A PILOT! Relay teams cannot have a dedicated pilot.
  • You must be able to complete the swim in UNDER 5 HOURS. This means if there is ZERO current, you should be able to swim 1 open water mile in about 42 minutes. If you’re not within the final 1/4-mile of the swim within 5 hours, you may be pulled by the motorboat pilots and shuttled to the finish line.
  • All swimmers and pilots MUST attend the pre-race safety meeting, which will be held on race day morning just prior to the race starting.
  • The race will follow USMS swimming rules for Category 1 swimwear, meaning no wetsuits.
  • KAYAKS for race: Kayaks should be at least 12-feet in length and capable of handling choppy water conditions. The small, recreational kayaks cannot be used in this race! Having a rudder on your kayak can greatly help you paddle straight even in windy and choppy conditions. Please make sure you have an adequate kayak or you may not be allowed to start the race! Safety for both our swimmers and pilots is our utmost priority! If you are using a sit-in type kayak, you MUST have a hand pump for pumping water out of the kayak.
  • All swimmers and pilots must provide their own nutrition (water, electrolytes, calories) for the entire race and have a means for securing it to the kayak. There are no water stations out on the course.
  • Relay teams: You can swap swimmers at any time during the race and as many times as you want during the race.
  • Relay teams: You CANNOT have a dedicated pilot (kayaker) for your relay team. Each team member must take turns swimming and paddling, meaning that each person swims a portion of the race and paddles the kayak a portion of the race.
  • Relay teams: 2-person relay teams should use a single person sit-on-top type kayak that is at least 12-feet in length. 3-person relay teams should use a single tandem sit-on-top type kayak that can accommodate the weight of two team members plus all of your other gear.
  • Relay teams: The pilot exiting the kayak to swim must maintain contact and control of the kayak until the swimmer makes the exchange by hand-to-hand touch. At this moment, the finishing swimmer becomes the pilot and the only team member permitted contact with the kayak.  The pilot may then use the sea bottom if needed for assistance to enter the kayak and proceed as team pilot.
  • All pilots must have a whistle and wear an approved PFD while paddling.
  • Each pilot must have a cell phone secured in a dry bag for use in case of an emergency
  • You cannot hang or rest on your pilot's boat even when feeding.
  • No use of lower extremities to rest on or push off of sea bottom to gain an advantage.
  • Swim caps and body marking will be provided which must be worn throughout the race.
  • Persons allergic to latex should plan to wear a silicone cap beneath their race cap or bring their own brightly colored silicone cap.
  • It is advised that you complete at least a 2- to 3-hour training swim and practice feeding every 30-minutes prior to attempting this race!
  • If you’re doing a relay and don’t have experience paddling a kayak, it is highly recommended that you spend time learning how to paddle a kayak safely.
  • If you’re a solo swimmer, make sure you communicate with your pilot prior to race day so that you’re both on the same page about your race plans. Don’t wait until race day to communicate! If we’re providing a pilot for you, we’ll be sending both you and your pilot an email introducing each other. You’ll then have their email address for further communication.
  • If you have any questions about your ability to swim this event, please contact the race directors

Race Hotels

The official race hotels are the Lido Beach Resort Hotel and the Holiday Inn Lido Beach with discounted race rates available. Make your reservations early as the rooms are first-come, first-serve and they will sell out! All reservations must be made by March 29, 2019 to receive the race discount.
Lido Beach Resort hotel reservations:
To make a reservation online, click 
Or call (800) 441-2113 today to book your hotel. When calling, ask for the "Swim Around Lido" discounted race rate.

Holiday Inn Lido Beach hotel reservations:
To make a reservation online, click here.
Or call (800) 892-9174. When calling, ask for the "Swim Around Lido" discounted race rate.

Weekend Event Schedule

4-6 PM: Pre-race social & check-in at the Daiquiri Deck (see below)
8:00-9:00 AM: Swimmer/Pilot check-in, body marking, pilots staging kayaks on the beach

9:00-9:30 AM: MANDATORY pre-race safety meeting for ALL swimmers and pilots
9:30-9:55 AM: Pilots launch kayaks
9:45-9:55 AM: Swimmer final check-in and proceed to start area
10:00 AM: Male solo swimmers race start
10:05 AM: Female solo swimmers race start
10:10 AM: Relay teams race start
1:30 PM: Post race food and beer social
2:30 PM: Awards ceremony
3:30 PM: Social ends and cleanup begins