Boater Information

With an anticipated 300+ swimmers crossing the lake, we need many boaters!  If you know people who have a canoe, kayak, or powerboat and would like to support swimmers on August 11, please invite them to learn more and register as a Boater.

Women Swimmin' for Hospicare: Boater

Boaters for Women Swimmin' play a vital role in supporting all the swimmers, and are an integral part of our overall safety plan. As such, Boaters should have experience in open water and be comfortable in choppy and/or windy conditions. This event is NOT for individuals who are beginner kayakers or canoeists. Inexperienced boaters can compromise the safety of both swimmers and other Boaters.

Escort boaters are assigned to escort a group (pod) of swimmers as they make their way across the Lake. Your job is to guide the swimmers, keep them on course toward the Ithaca Yacht Club and keep an eye on each one to watch for signs of fatigue, hypothermia or other signs of distress. If a swimmer needs to rest for a moment, she can hold onto the front (never the side or stern) of your kayak or canoe to rest in place until she can resume her swim. If there's a specific swimmer or group of swimmers you'd like to escort, you can indicate that on the registration form. 

Boater Registration

Boater Registration opened on April 15, 2018 and continues until August 4. Escort Boaters and Kayak Safety Team (KST) are encouraged to register online through this site.  Just click one of the registration buttons on our Home Page to get started!

Power Boaters: If you are registering as a Power Boater or Jet Skier, please email and we'll send you a special link to register.


Here's some information on the registration process:
  • All Boaters (and passengers) must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the swim.
  • Boaters may register as individuals, or may start or join a team with other Boaters or Swimmers.
  • All Boaters who register must have a unique email address. If you are registering multiple participants make sure that you have email addresses for each.
  • Boaters are not required to fundraise, though you will have a personal fundraising page and will be able to easily gather donations from your friends and family in support of Hospicare if you choose.

As a Boater for Women Swimmin' for Hospicare, you agree to:

  • Register as a Boater.
  • Sign our liability waiver and publicity release.
  • Attend the briefing meeting before the event.  Attendance at this meeting is mandatory for Boaters and their passengers participating in the event. See Event Details for more information
  • Bring the boat you will use. Women Swimmin' does not provide boats for the event. At times, we maintain a list of canoes or kayaks that can be borrowed. However, arrangements for a borrowed boat must be made well in advance of the event.
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and have it securely fastened at all times when you’re on the water. And have at least one extra PFD to throw to a swimmer.
  • Have in your boat a whistle, sunscreen, and water. (We'll provide the whistle!) 
  • Wear a Women Swimmin' baseball cap at the event. (We'll provide that too!  You'll receive both the whistle and the hat at the mandatory Boater meeting the night before the swim.) 
  • Arrive at the Ithaca Yacht Club on August 11 with enough time to unload your boat, park your car, launch your boat and paddle to the east shore of the lake by your assigned boating time.  
  • There will not be a rain date.  If conditions to swim across the lake are unfavorable we'll gather at the Cass Park Rink to enjoy breakfast from Ithaca Bakery/Collegetown Bagels, music from the Yardvarks, and to celebrate our Swimmers, Boaters, and Volunteers
Women Swimmin' for Hospicare: Boater


Kayak Safety Team.

Experienced kayakers may volunteer to be on the Kayak Safety Team (KST). Paddlers who have had safety training (capsize recovery and boat re-entries), or who would like to learn these skills, AND who have a kayak with airtight flotation compartments fore and aft are invited to join this team.  Optional KST training sessions will be held the first four Mondays in July (July 2, 9, 16, and 23), A mandatory session for all KST members will be held on Monday July 30.

Mandatory Boater Meetings

Attendance at these meetings is required by Hospicare's insurance carrier in order for you to participate in the event.

Power Boaters and Jet Skis:
Thursday, August 9, 7:00 PM at the Ithaca Yacht Club

Escort Boaters:
Friday, August 10, 6:30 PM at Boynton Middle School


Optional (but encouraged!) Escort Boater Clinic

Monday, August 6, 6:00 PM at the Ithaca Yacht Club

Whether it's your first time boatin' for Women Swimmin' or your fifteenth you can benefit from the Escort Boater Clinic. This clinic is voluntary but recommended. Its purpose is to improve your boatin' skills and better prepare you to escort and assist swimmers during the event.