Water World


Water WorldMake a splash this summer at Gatorfest on the Savannah River. Savannah Riverkeeper is sponsoring the event on the water to raise awareness about the area’s natural resource.

Endurance swimmers can dive into Gatorfest on Saturday, August 13 for a 1.2-mile or a 3.4-mile open-water swim. 

“Our mission is to keep the waters fishable, drinkable and swimmable, so we thought this would be a great fit for our organization,” says Marci Miller, the Savannah Riverkeeper development director. “This is the first and only open-water swim event in the CSRA. It’s a fun endurance event that is different from anything else in the area.” 

The 1.2-mile swim, which follows the same course as the swim portion of Ironman 70.3 Augusta in September, begins at the Sixth Street train trestle at 7:45 a.m. The 3.4-mile swim starts at the North Augusta boat ramp at 7:30 a.m. Both races end at the boat ramp at Savannah Riverkeeper’s former office at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta.

Registration, which is $50, is available online, and organizers hope to attract at least 300 swimmers to the event. Wetsuits are encouraged. A post-race party, which is open to the community, will include music, beer and pizza.

“People are aware of the Savannah River, but we want them to experience the river and its natural beauty,” Miller says. “This event is a way for them to support Savannah Riverkeeper and see the natural resources in the CSRA that are underutilized.” 

Gatorfest participants can park their cars at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta, and take a shuttle to the starting point of their race. More information about the events is available at savannahriverkeeper.org.