Is there a rest day between Stages 4 and 5?

Not exactly. There are two “rain” days built into the schedule: one after stage 4, which accommodates a delay of stages 1, 2, 3 or 4 due to an extreme weather event, and one after stage 7 which  accommodates a delay of stages 5, 6 or 7.  While rain, even if heavy, will not be reason to cancel, electrical storms and very strong winds will be cause for delay or cancellation.  Every effort will be made to proceed as scheduled.

How do the “rain” dates work?

In the case of a stage being cancelled due to high winds or electrical storms, we will endeavor to re-schedule the stage for the following day in which case subsequent stages will also move ahead one day. For example if Stage 2 is cancelled due to extreme weather, it will be moved to the date scheduled for Stage 3. Then Stages 3 and 4 will be moved forward a day to occur to their rain date. The 8 Bridges schedule has a buffer day after Stage 4 to accommodate a delay of Stages 1, 2, 3 or 4,  and one after Stage 7 to  accommodate a delay of Stages 5, 6 or 7.

Can you rank the 7 swim stages by degree of difficulty?

The following list is a degree of difficulty comparison for the 7 x 8 Bridges stages and some of the more well known swims in the area. Listed from easiest to most difficult (opinions may vary):
+ Little Red Lighthouse
+ Aquarium 5k
+ Chesapeake Bay 4.4
+ Stage 3 Mid-Hudson Bridge to Newburgh-Beacon Bridge
+ Stage 6 Tappan Zee to George Washington Bridge
+ Boston Light (depends on water T)
+ Kingdom 10 mile
+ Stage 4 Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to Bear Mountain Bridge
+ Rose Pitonof
+ Ederle
+ Stage 1 Rip Van Winkle Bridge to Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge
+ Stage 7 George Washington Bridge to Verrazzano
+ Stage 2 Kingston-Rhinecliff to Mid-Hudson Bridge

+ Stage 5 Bear Mt Bridge to Tappan Zee
+ Tampa Bay

Which stage/s should I swim?

Each stage of 8 Bridges is unique and has its own special attributes which is part what makes it such a great event. Below we highlight some of the features of each stage to help you work out which stage/s you’d like to swim.
+  The stages with the greatest current assist are 1, 6 and 7.
+  The stage with the least current assist is 5; swimmers typically start this stage late in the flood tide.
+  The more peaceful and rural stages are 1 and 2.
+  The most urban stages are 6 and 7.
+ Stage 7 has the most iconic scenery and intense boat traffic being that you are swimming through the heart of the NY Harbor; you swim past the Statue of Liberty and have spectacular views of the Empire State Building and other great NYC landmarks.
+ The most fun and social stage is 6; being so accessible to the city Stage 6 gathers a lot of contenders coming out to ride the fast currents.
+ Stage 4 has the most majestic scenery with the Bannerman’s Castle, the towering Hudson Highlands fjord, and West Point.
+ Stage 3 is the most simple, straightforward and relaxing stage.
+ The most difficult stages are 5 and 2 for their sheer distance (20 miles).
+ Stages 1 and 2 have the best lighthouses.
+ Stage 1 has the best cement factories.

How difficult is it to swim a marathon swim day after day?

If you are considering taking the 7 day, 120 mile challenge, or swimming two or three stages, be assured it’s not as hard as it sounds. Yes it’s hard to get going each morning after swimming four or five hours the previous day, but provided you pace yourself swimming day after day becomes second nature. One way to approach the magnitude of back to back marathon swims is to consider it as a long hike, say on the Appalachian trail, and to pace yourself as such.

What does “recommended pace” mean?

Recommended pace is an estimate of the pace (not current assisted) you need to hold for the duration of a stage (4+ hours) in order to finish the stage before the tide turns and you cannot complete the swim. Being a tidal estuary, the Hudson flows in two directions twice a day. Each morning the swim starts on the ebb (outgoing) tide, which provides of window of four to seven hours to complete a stage.

Recommended paces range from 27 minutes per mile (Stage 5) to 44 minutes per mile (Stage 6). See the 7 Stages for the recommended paces for each stage.

Should I tip my kayaker?

8 Bridges pays kayakers a per diem of $175 per stage to cover their logistical expenses. But yes, by all means please show your gratitude however you see fit.

Where should I stay?

There are several accommodation options: hotels/motels, campsites and homes. Check the following websites for information about accommodation in the Hudson Valley and feel free to contact the race directors for suggestions.
Ulster County Tourism Website
Dutchess County Tourism Website
Orange County Tourism Website
Putnam County Tourism Website
NYS Tourism Website
Hudson River Information

What does my entry fee pay for?

8 Bridges takes place in a busy commercial waterway and so we take the safety of swimmers and their support team very seriously. Most of your entry fee pays for our safety boaters. We also pay kayakers a per diem of $175 for each stage. The rest of your fee covers insurance, swag and refreshments on the boats. NYOW is a non-profit organization and relies on the volunteer efforts of the race directors and other support staff to keep the costs of the event as low as possible.