RIVER HUGGER SWIM TEAM

To build visibility and awareness of our river’s revival, HAP has formed a swim team – the River Huggers. In short, it’s a public advocacy swim group. All intermediate level swimmers are welcome and you should be able to swim a mile in 45 minutes without stopping.

The River Huggers swim every weekday generally from June until September. Swims are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7:00 am and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:00. The morning swims cross the river and back (sometimes twice). The evening swims go along the east bank of the river – downstream and back.

The Huggers meet at the Fire Station on the Eastside Esplanade, near Hawthorne Bridge. It takes 30-40 minutes to swim across to the west side and back, 1/4 mile each direction.

SWIMMING IN A POD FOR AWARENESS AND SAFETY

River Huggers is not a competitive swim group, it’s a fun, intermediate level swim. Yes, wet suits and fins are welcome.

We swim together as a pod to draw attention and create public awareness that it is safe to swim in the Willamette River. Safety paddlers accompany the group. Each swim costs $5 or you can pay $60 for the season. Whistles, swim buoys, goggles and bright caps are safety requirements.

New participants must complete a Buddy Swim on their first swim with the team, unless they have competed in a USMS sanctioned open water competition. The fee for first time River Huggers is $15, which includes the Buddy Swim, a River Hugger cap, and the use of a swim safety buoy if you don’t have one.

BEFORE YOU JUMP IN

All swimmers are required to sign a WAIVER and watch the SAFETY VIDEO.

Some people feel more comfortable in a wet suit, but many swimmers wear just a swimsuit. Fins can be helpful and are encouraged if you’re concerned about being too slow for the group. Swim buoy bags can tote your belongings and they make you more visible. Plus, they serve as a personal float if you need to rest for a few moments.

WHERE TO FIND US ONLINE

Look for us on Facebook as the Human Access Project (HAP). You might see our latest swim picture posted (we take one before each swim)! You can also sign up for the next swim (each swim is created as a Facebook event), and see any media or other relevant information.

Tell your friends to join us! The more, the merrier.

We need safety paddlers! If you or a friend is interested in being a safety paddler please contact willie@humanaccessproject.com

PORTLAND’S “OPEN WATER SWIMMING AMBASSADORS”

In July of 2018, a Mayoral proclamation was issued approving the “HAP River Huggers Swim Team as the City of Portland’s ambassadors for open water swimming safety and Ocial Open Water Swim Team.” In addition, July 11th was named River Hugger Swim Team Day in recognition of the work of the Human Access Project.