At dawn on Labor Day each year, a large group of hearty souls jumps in the mighty Columbia River and swims the 1.1-mile stretch across to Hood River. The Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim – Columbia River’s biggest and oldest official swim event, attracting hundreds of participants from around the world – originated in 1942 when local orchardist Roy Webster challenged himself to swim across the river. On the day of the swim, participants board the famous Sternwheeler paddleboat on the south shore of the Columbia, at the Hood River Port, and are ferried across the river to the Washington shore. When signaled, swimmers jump off the Sternwheeler into the “refreshing” Columbia and head back for Hood River. To help them find their way, a special swim lane lined with volunteers in sailboats, kayaks and paddleboards are there to guide, encourage, and protect swimmers as they cross the channel. This popular event fills up quickly, so be sure to register early! Registration opens on March 1. Sign up here to receive official Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim newsletter and notification of the online registration link. Roy Webster has passed on, but his family still owns the local orchard – now TheFruitCompany.com – and they carry on Roy’s legacy by participating in the event each year.
- The swim is for intermediate level or better swimmers.
- All swimmers must be at least 10 years old, in good physical health, and must wear a swim cap provided due to safety regulations.
- Swimmers under 15 years old MUST each be accompanied by an adult swimmer.
- Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
- No grease or oil allowed as it may damage the Sternwheeler. Wet or dry suits are permitted.
- You must sign a waiver to participate.
- This is not a race!
Thank you to our Sponsors!
The Fruit Company- thefruitcompany.com
Best Western Plus Hood River Inn- hoodriverinn.com
Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital
Northwest Graphic Works- northwestgraphicworks.com