Latest News & Updates

July 13, 2017

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming: “91 Circumnavigations Down, 9 to Go”

June 21, 2017

2017 Participant Lists are now available:
Solo Swimmers
Two-Person Relay Teams
Three-Person Relay Teams

June 20, 2017

Official Press Release of the 41st Annual Swim Around Key West

June 13, 2017

Swim Around Key West joins the Global Swim Series! The goal of the Global Swim Series is to promote open water swimming around the world and increase participation in the sport. By swimming in any GSS race you automatically earn points based on a combination of participation and speed, these points then give you a “Global Ranking.” The more races you do, the higher your ranking!

The GSS now has over 65,000 swimmers, in 101 races, in 30 countries including: Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Turks & Caicos, St Kitts & Nevis, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Barbados, Brazil, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Spain, Greece, Croatia, Morocco, South Africa, Austria, Russia, UAE, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia … and more joining all the time!

To find out more about the Global Ranking, GSS Rules and other GSS races, visit GlobalSwimSeries.com

April 2, 2017

The Solo Swimmer division is now full. We have reached our capacity and there is NO waiting list. We still have availability in the two-person and three-person relay team divisions.

March 1, 2017

Registration for the 41st Annual Swim Around Key West is now open. Apply online here.

January 21,2017

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming: “Bill Welzien, Believe It or Not”

July 31, 2016

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming: “#75 Diamond Swim Is in the Books”
The Daily News of Open Water Swimming: “Bill Welzien Swimming Towards a Key West Century Swim”

July 26, 2016

Our requested date for the 41st Annual Swim Around Key West has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. We are scheduled for a first wave start at 7:15 a.m. (second wave at 7:45 a.m.) on June 24, 2017.

June 1, 2016

Official Press Release of the 40th Annual Swim Around Key West

May 26, 2016

2016 Participant Lists are now available:
Solo Swimmers
Two-Person Relay Teams
Three-Person Relay Teams

Bill Welzien completed his 74th career swim around Key WestMay 21, 2016

Organizer Bill Welzien completed his 74th career swim around Key West in a time of 6:52:00. He will attempt his 75th swim on June 4 with the rest of the field. Pictured here are Bill and his daughter Jane, who accompanied him as kayak support. Read Bill’s report here.

May 2, 2016

We closed registration yesterday with a total of 105 solo swimmers, 14 two-person relay teams and 21 three-person relay teams. Competitor lists will be posted soon.

April 23, 2016#73

Organizer Bill Welzien completed his 73rd career swim around Key West in a time of 6:28:38. Pictured at left are Bill and his kayaker, Doug Weeks. Read Bill’s swim report “#73: The Season Opener” here.

December 13, 2015

Key West Citizen newspaper:

2015 Check Presentation to Key West High School Cross Country Team

October 27, 2015

Welzien's #72

Don Nelson and Bill Welzien at the completion of Bill’s 72nd career swim around the island of Key West.

Bill Welzien completed his #72 career swim around the island of Key West on Tuesday in a time of 6:30:38. He was accompanied by captain Don Nelson. Welzien and Nelson work closely together in the organization of the Annual Swim Around Key West. The winds were out of the east south east at about 20 knots, which made for a good challenge on the Atlantic side of the island. Welzien said it was much rougher for Nelson in the kayak than it was for him. The swim began and ended on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Traditionally, the start /finish originates at Smathers Beach, but the 40th Annual Swim Around Key West scheduled for June 4th, 2016, may change its venue to Fort Zachary Taylor due to an early high tide in the Key West Harbor. Welzien is currently working with park officials to finalize the details of the new start/finish location.

October 22, 2015

Swimming World Magazine publishes article about Organizer Bill Welzien’s successful swim across the Sea of Galilee and back: “As the Dust Settled: A Tale of Swimming Across the Sea of Galilee” by Bill Welzien

September 8, 2015

Organizer Bill Welzien completes his swim across the Sea of Galilee and back. Read his story here.

August 22, 2015

The 39th Annual Swim Around Key West recently presented a check for $4,000 to the Key West High School Cross Country Team. Nearly 160 swimmers participated in the 12.5-mile event on June 6, 2015. A portion of their entry fees supports the donation to the Key West student runners. Read the full press release here.

2014 Check Presentation to Key West High School Cross Country Team

Swim Organizer Bill Welzien is pictured presenting the check to Cross Country team members at Key West Golf Club. Pictured (L to R): Jane Welzien, Bobby Black, Jerry Burgess, Bill Welzien, JT Keane and Miles Cooper.

August 28, 2015

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming publishes article about Organizer Bill Welzien’s upcoming attempt to swim across the Sea of Galilee and back: “Bill Welzien to Go Double Duty”

June 12, 2015

Keys Weekly newspaper article: “Swimming Around Key West … Is Much Easier for the Kayaker” by Kristen Livengood

June 8, 2015

Key West Citizen newspaper: “This Week in the Keys”

June 8, 2015

SwimSwam article: “Carolina Aquatics 16-Year-Old Seth Kurtz Wins 39th Annual 12.5-Mile Swim Around Key West.”

June 7, 2015

Key West Citizen newspaper article: “Ideal Weather Welcomes Racers”

June 6, 2015

Key West Citizen newspaper article: “Proving Age Is Just a Number: Welzien Going for 65th Completion of 12.5-Mile Course”

May 30, 2015

Key West Citizen newspaper article: “Set to Get Wet: Race Lineup Set as Event Approaches”

May 22, 2015

2015 Competitor Lists are now available:
Three-Person Relay Teams
Two-Person Relay Teams
Solo Swimmers

May 6, 2015

Organizer Bill Welzien completed his 64th career swim around Key West in 6:29:04. He is now eligible to attempt his 65th (same number as his age) swim during the 39th Annual Swim Around Key West on June 6. Read Bill’s swim report, “Eligible for #65.”

April 20, 2015

Bill Welzien is pictured with his children Georgia Smith and Billy Welzien after  completing Swim #63.  He is covered in  zinc oxide to protect his skin from the sun.

Bill Welzien is pictured with his children Georgia Smith and Billy Welzien after
completing Swim #63. He is covered in
zinc oxide to protect his skin from the sun.

Bill Welzien completed his 63rd career swim around the island of Key West in a time of 6:30:47. Welzien, who turned 65 a few days before, said he plans to swim the course again on May 6 and to swim his 65th on June 6, the scheduled day of the 39th Annual Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles). Welzien is the event Organizer and participates as a swimmer each year, yielding others to direct the swim on race day. The water temperature for his recent swim was a warm 85 degrees. The wind was out of the SSE at approximately 8-10 mph and the air temperature was in the upper 80s. Welzien was accompanied by his daughter Georgia Smith and his son Billy Welzien. They paddled alongside Welzien, providing him with the protection and nourishment necessary to complete the distance.

March 9, 2015

The two-person relay category is now full.

January 20, 2015

As of 7:34 pm today, the solo swimmer category is closed. We met our limit of 100 applicants in less than 7 days. There is no waiting list. Congratulations to all those who got in. Only 136 training days until the race!

November 6, 2014

YouTube video: “Sea Peptide Salties 12.5 Mile Swim Around Key West”

October 8, 2014

Bill Welzien is pictured with his support kayaker and daughter, Priscilla, after completing his 62nd career swim around Key West on Oct. 8, 2014.

Bill Welzien is pictured with his support kayaker and daughter, Priscilla, after completing his 62nd career swim around Key West on Oct. 8, 2014.

Bill Welzien completed his 62nd career swim around the Island of Key West, a distance of 12.5 miles. He started from Smathers Beach at 7:45 am and swam clockwise. The 64-year-old Welzien completed the swim in 6:15.10. This was a full moon and the high tide in the Key West Harbor was at 10:40 a.m. The wind was ENE at about 10-15 mph. Welzien’s 20-year-old daughter, Priscilla Grace (pictured), was at his side as his escort kayaker. Welzien is the organizer of the historic Annual Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles).

September 18, 2014

Key West Citizen newspaper article about the 38th Annual Swim Around Key West’s donation to the Key West High School Cross Country Team: Donations: “Making Waves”

September 9, 2014

Organizer Bill Welzien has done it again! Today he completed his 61st swim around Key West in a time of 6:03.51.

Organizer Bill Welzien is pictured with his kayaker, Larry Batts, at Smathers Beach after completing his 61st Swim Around Key West on Sept. 9, 2014.

Organizer Bill Welzien is pictured with his kayaker, Larry Batts, at Smathers Beach after completing his 61st Swim Around Key West on Sept. 9, 2014.

 

September 5, 2014

The U.S. Coast Guard has approved our requested date of June 6, 2015 for the 39th Annual Swim Around Key West!

August 23, 2014

The 38th Annual Swim Around Key West donated $3,750 to the Key West High School Cross Country Team this year. Organizers Bill and Sessie Welzien are pictured (far right) presenting the check to team captain Everett Wagner. Also pictured are Coach Doug Weeks (far left) and Coach Terence White. Official Press Release.

Swim Around Key West Donates $3,750 to the Key West High School Cross Country Team

Swim Around Key West donates $3,750 to the Key West High School Cross Country Team. Pictured (L to R): Coach Doug Weeks, Coach Terence White, Team Captain Everett Wagner, Swim Organizer Bill Welzien and his wife, Sessie Welzien.

 

July 21, 2014

Triathlete magazine article: “Gain Confidence by Training for an Endurance Swim”

June 30, 2014

YouTube video of 38th Annual Swim Around Key West: “Smathers Beach Swim Around Key West by DJI Phantom”

June 29, 2014

Key West Citizen newspaper article: 38th Annual Swim Around Key West: “No Troubles Despite Being in Hot Water”

June 28, 2014

Congratulations to all swimmers! Thank you to all volunteers, kayakers and boat captains!

Official Results of the 38th Annual Swim Around Key West are now available.

June 27, 2014

Key West Citizen newspaper article: 38th Annual Swim Around Key West: “Endurance Event Set for Saturday Morning”

Bradenton Herald newspaper article: “Bradenton Firefighters to Participate in Annual Swim Around Key West on Saturday”

June 26, 2014

Two-Person and Three-Person Relay Team rosters are now available:

2014 Two-Person Relay Team Roster

2014 Three-Person Relay Team Roster

June 25, 2014

Official Press Release for the 38th Annual Swim Around Key West to be held on June 28, 2014

June 24, 2014

ASweetLife.org article: “Sea Peptide Swimmers: Three Women with Type 1 Diabetes to Swim Around Key West”

June 23, 2014

Solo roster of participants is now available: 2014 Solo Swimmers

Welzien 59th Career swim around Key West

Welzien’s 59th career swim around Key West. Pictured here with Bill are his kayakers: Doug Weeks and daughter Priscilla Welzien; wife Sessie, daughter Jane and son Billy.

May 27, 2014

Swim Organizer Bill Welzien completed his 59th career swim around Key West in a time of 6:22:54. He will attempt his 60th career swim on June 28th with the rest of the racers. Congratulations, Bill!

April 29, 2014

Organizer Bill Welzien has completed his 58th career swim around Key West. Read about it here.

April/May 2014

H2Open magazine has just published an article about the Annual Swim Around Key West. Read the article here: “End of the Line” by Simon Murie.

April 2, 2014

ConnectedinMotion.ca blog: “The Sea Peptide Swimmers: An Introduction”

January 31, 2014

The Solo Swimmer division is sold out! Please Contact Us to be put on a waiting list for the 2014 Swim

January 28, 2014

The Two-Person Relay division is sold out! Please Contact Us to be put on a waiting list for the 2014 Swim.

November 14, 2013

We will open registration for the 38th Annual Swim on Dec. 2, 2013.  Stay tuned to our website for the link to apply online or print out your application.

October 29, 2013

An update on application status. Good news first: The Coast Guard has approved our application and will permit it and establish a Special Local Regulation and assign a Patrol Commander. The bad news: This year, for the first time, we have been asked to submit an additional application for permit to the Army Corps of Engineers in Miami, which will be coordinating with the National Marine Fisheries Service, Protected Resources Division in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, we’ve had to start from scratch on our race headquarters. Rest assured the process is moving in the right direction, but we want to have all our ducks (buoys) in a row before accepting applications for the June 28, 2014 event. Thank you for your patience!

October 15, 2013

We are still finalizing the details of the 38th Annual Swim Around Key West that will be held on June 28, 2014. As soon as everything is ironed out, we’ll send out an email with information about how to register. If you want to make sure you’re on our email list, you can sign up here.

Swim Around Key West Donates $3,000 to Key West High School Cross Country Team

Swim Around Key West Donates $3,000 to Key West High School Cross Country Team

October 8, 2013

The 37th Annual Swim Around Key West donated $3,000 to the Key West High School Cross Country team this year. Organizer Bill Welzien is pictured presenting the check to team members and their coaches.

September 16, 2013

We got the official OK for our 2014 swim date. Mark your calendars now for June 28, 2014: The 38th Annual Swim Around Key West! More details, application and online signup to come in the next 6 weeks or so.

June 25, 2013

All swimmers in this year’s event should have received a survey via email. Please take a moment to fill it out so that we can improve for next year!

June 18, 2013

YouTube video of 37th Annual Swim Around Key West finish

June 17, 2013

Some stats for the 2013 swim. We had 79 solo swimmers start the race and 77 finished! We had 18 three-person relay teams and 9 two-person relay teams compete, for a total of 151 swimmers in the water. Thanks to everyone who swam, kayaked, captained a boat, volunteered or organized this year’s successful event.

June 12, 2013

Juneau Empire article about winner Cody Brunette and the charity he raced for: Friedreich’s Ataxi Research Alliance (FARA)

June 9, 2013

Preliminary Results are posted online. Please let us know if you see any discrepancies or errors. We are doing the final error checks now.

YouTube video of 37th Annual Swim Around Key West

May 28, 2013

Final Pre-Race Instructions from the Organizer

May 3, 2013: 37th Annual Swim Registration Closes in one Week!

The only division still open is the 3-person relay. There is a waiting list for the Solo and the 2-person relay.

May 1, 2013: Bill becomes an IRONMAN

Last December Bill completed his first IRONMAN. Read Bills Story here:
The Graduation of Tin Foil Boy

Read about Bill’s Fuel

January 15, 2013

Important Alert:
We just learned minutes ago that the Comfort Inn will be closing for renovations.  That means it will not serve as our headquarters.  We will return to the Lexington Hotel.  This is the hotel we used as our headquarters for the 35th and 36th Annual Swims.

If you have made reservations to stay at the Comfort Inn the hotel will be in touch with you and will transfer you to another host hotel.

A fee increase is scheduled for February 1, 2013.

November 29, 2012

The 37th Annual Swim Around Key West is on!
Race Date June 8, 2013: Online application is up and running as well as printable info, applications and hotel information.

August 3, 2012

OnMilwaukee.com article: “Swimming Unfathomable Lengths in Open Water”

August 1, 2012

36th Annual Swim Around Key West Race Organizer’s Report

June 24, 2012

36th Annual  Swim Around Key West is in the books. Congratulations  to all who swam with us. We plan on posting next years date soon. Thanks for joining us in Key West!

June 12, 2012

The Race is on! Final preparations are being made. Water is great we look forward to seeing you next week! Until then, make sure you read the important pre-race information.

Pre-Race Information Letter

Support Kayaker Information

And look here to see who’s swimming: 36th Annual Swim Around Key West Participant List

May 18, 2012

36th Annual Swim Around Key West Registration is now closed.

85 Solo swimmers; 10 2-person relay teams; 20 3-person relay teams are registered!

May 14, 2012

Sign up now to join in this great event as a support kayaker for a visiting swimmer.

May 8, 2012

Time is short. Solo division is full. Apply for Relays now!

November 14, 2011

36th Annual Swim Around Key West applications are out! The date of the Swim is June 23, 2012.

Information and Print Applications

Online Registration now available!

Hotel Information

Swimmers in Need of Kayaker Information

Join Us as a Support Kayaker

March 1, 2011

Greetings from Key West.  I hope you are well.  I wanted to take a moment and give you a brief update on the preparations for the 35th Annual Swim Around Key West (12.5 miles) scheduled for June 4, 2011.  Earlier we announced a cap on our various categories. The cap for the solo division is 75 and we are just under 50. As of this moment we have 27 males entered and 20 females for a total of 47.  I say this to encourage any solo swimmers not already entered to do so immediately.  He who hesitates is lost! We still have a good amount of openings for the 2- and 3-person relays (the cap for the two person relay is 15 and the three person relay is 20). Once the cap is reached we will close that category. -Bill Welzien, Organizer

June 2010

Swim Tips for 2010

October 1, 2010

35th Annual Swim Around Key West Date Set!
We have heard back from the US Coast Guard (Sector Key West) and they have approved our requested date of June 4, 2011. We will hold our mandatory pre-race meeting the evening before at 6:00 pm. The swim will begin at Smathers Beach at 9:30 am.

June 26, 2010

Windy and warm swim starts on time with 111 participants, 60 solo swimmers; 5 2-person relay teams, 14 3-person relay teams. Overall Winner and first female swimmer, 20-year-old Abigail Nunn from Richmond, VA, in a time of 4:17:02. First male finisher was Ray Peden, 55, from New Castle, DE in a time of 4:44:41.
See full results. Photos coming soon.

October 3, 2009

34th Annual Swim Around Key West gets Coast Guard approval for 2010 race date. Mark your calendars: June 26, 2010!

September 3, 2009

Race Organizer Bill Welzien traveled to Israel and completed a north to south swim of the Sea of Galilee (20K). Read about it here: Bill’s Sea of Galilee Swim

June 6, 2009

Marcos Dias, 4:08:47, and Heather Carmargo, 5:16:53, are the 2009 Overall Male and Female Top Finishers!

December 27, 2008

Bill completes 30 swims around Key West in 30 months! Read about the 30th here.

April 21, 2007

In other news, Swim Around Key West Race Organizer Bill Welzien attempted the grueling Swim Across Tampa Bay.  Read the story.

November 4, 2006

Bill Welzien completed his 5th of 12 swims around Key West.  Read about Bill’s swims here.

October 5, 2006

Bill Welzien completed his 4th of 12 swims around Key West. Read about his swims here.

July 17, 2006

Four-time Swim Around Key West Champion Bill Welzien has decided to attempt to swim around Key West once a month every month for the next year.  Bill did the July swim last week.  Read about it here.

July 8, 2006: Rule Change for 2007

As a result of some stormy weather during the 2006 event, the rules committee got together and implemented “The Lightning Rule.” The new rule is as follows:

“In the event of an electrical storm, swimmers WILL be allowed to seek safety on land or a support boat without disqualification. They must then re-enter the water in the same location they exited. The clock remains running.”

The new rule will allow swimmers to get out of the water if they feel in danger without improving their position in the race. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

 June 10, 2006

YouTube video of 30th Annual Swim Around Key West