14th Annual Alcatraz Swim with the Centurions

499 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, CA 94109


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Event Description

Please review our refund and rollover policies before registering.

On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin chipped through their cement cell walls, squeezed through a ventilation shaft to get to the roof, climbed down a drain pipe, scaled a 15-foot fence, and entered the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay. They disappeared into the night, wearing only the meager life preservers they made from stolen rain coats, and were never found, seen, or heard from again.

39 years later, on June 11, 2001, Pedro Ordenes and Gary Emich became the first swimmers to successfully “Escape from Alcatraz” 100 times! Since then, becoming a member of the elite “Alcatraz 100 Club” has become THE ambition for many open water swimmers. On September 10th, you’ll have the chance to reach your own goals and share the waters with the experts of the Bay, the Centurions!

You'll swim the notorious 1.25-mile route from "The Rock" to Aquatic Park on the San Francisco shore with 500 other swimmers, navigating the currents of the bay while admiring the Golden Gate to the west, the Bay Bridge to the east, and the iconic city skyline ahead. Safety kayakers will look out for you and keep the course for the "escape"!

September water is the warmest in the year for the San Francisco bay, so join us for this late summer adventure you'll be thrilled to tell your friends about!

This swim is not for novices. This event is for experienced open-water swimmers only. You should be able to swim one mile comfortably in a pool in under 40 minutes. If you need advice, support, and coaching for this swim, Water World Swim can help.

Please review our refund and rollover policies before registering.

Event details and schedule

ALL DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE! All participants will receive regular email updates in the weeks leading up to the event. The information in those emails will be more accurate and detailed than the original guidelines here.



We highly recommend that you attend the briefing on September 26 at Sports Basement. At the briefing, you will be informed about the water conditions, currents, and best swim strategy. You will also check in so you do not have to arrive at the rooster's call on race day :) You will receive your cap, tee, and other goodies as well as your body marking with your race number. Swimmers who attend the briefing always swim best!

As an added bonus, while you're at Sports Basement, they will offer a discount to all attending swimmers. Stock up on goggles, neoprene caps, and more!

  • Sports Basement in the Presidio  VIEW MAP
  • Check in opens at 4pm
  • First briefing 5pm, second 6:30pm
  • Sports Basement offers a discount for swimmers at the briefing


  • Meet at Aquatic Park  VIEW MAP
  • Couldn't make the briefing? Arrive at 7:15am for final briefing, body marking, and goody bag pick up
  • Came to the briefing? Arrive at 8:00am
  • Board the ferry at 8:40am
  • Jump into the water at 9:00am


ARRIVE EARLY! Around Aquatic Park, there are plenty of 4-hour parking meters. There is free parking at the base of Van Ness. Park and walk west to the bleachers. VIEW MAP

If there is no more parking on Van Ness, alternative parking is found at Fort Mason. From Van Ness, turn right onto Bay Street and head west. Turn right at Franklin into Fort Mason. Walk east to Aquatic Park.

DO NOT PARK east of Aquatic Park as there are parking meters and there will be traffic from the kayakers. Thanks for your understanding.


Boat passenger ticket availability will be announced via email to participants a month before the swim.


Your timing chip will go on your ankle and will need to be turned in once you cross the finish line. A volunteer will remove it for you and collect it. However, you will be responsible in the event you lose your chip. Do not forget to wear it as there will be no available replacements, and you will be charged $30 for loss.



Don't bring large bags with you. You will be given a plastic bag to put things in with your number on it so that any warm hoodies or shoes you wear onto the ferry can be returned to you after you jump. Don't forget these essentials:

  • Your ID for check-in
  • Wetsuit or swimsuit
  • Towel and warm dry clothes for after the swim - hoodies, swim parka, beanie, sweatpants - all good!
  • Something hot to drink and a snack (we'll have Clif and granola bars)
  • Neoprene cap (you will be provided a silicone cap to wear over it)
  • Goggles
  • Earplugs - though Mack's Earplugs will be provided
  • Anti-chafing glide if you're in a wetsuit
  • Shoes - flip flops, Uggs, and other simple shoes are fine for after the swim and optionally for walking to the ferry

DON'T bring swim booties, flippers, snorkels, swim gloves/paddles, pool toys or other swim accessories and enhancers, jewelry/valuables, and the obvious weapons and alcohol! Please clean up after yourself and your guests - we'll have trash cans.


Come to the event pretty much ready to go. If you're wearing a wetsuit, have it on up to the waist and something warm on top. If you're a skin, have warm clothing on top of our swimsuit - you will be getting a plastic bag with your number on it to put your things in before you jump. Either your passenger guests or a volunteer will safely transport it to the finish line where you can be reunited with your things.

There are no showers at Aquatic Park, so dry off, change in the shield of a towel, or rough it - just get warm and dry clothes on! You'll have all the time in the world to soak in a steamy tub in your hotel or home. For all other bathroom needs, there are publicly available bathrooms in the Argonaut Hotel on the corner by Aquatic Park, and a Starbucks on Beach and Hyde Streets with a bathroom.


Each team must be formed by three (3) swimmers minimum. If you don't have a third swimmer at check-in, the two swimmers must pay the individual late fee. Let us know now if you will be switching to individual status rather than team, and pay the difference before the swim at the time of check-in.

Team swimmers will be ranked by the average time of all team participants, and eligible only for 1st place team award, and not individual level awards. Team participants will still be able to get their individual time.


If you are under 18, you or your parents will receive an email from our registration team regarding some details relating to minors.

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