The annual 57° North Open Water Challenge takes place August 12, and it’s an event you don’t want to miss. The Northernmost open ocean race in the country (and some people say the planet!) is a blend of a 10k, 6k, 3k, 1k open water swim in the Sitka Sound. Spectators flock to Sitka to cheer on the athletes at this sell-out event that’s the perfect farewell to summer.

It all starts at the Sitka Sound Science Center beach, and early birds are welcome to get their feet wet with some “adventure swims” hosted by the Baranof Barracudas Swim Club Masters and Fisherman’s Quay. On the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights leading up to the race, boats are peppered throughout the sound helping swimmers with short runs and incredible morning sessions.

Saturday Sessions

Saturday is buzzing with adrenaline and excitement as the renowned Salmon BBQ heats things up for athletes and spectators alike. You won’t want to miss this sizzling feast, whether you’re competing or cheering on the swimmers. Last year, a record-breaking 17 swimmers took on the challenge of the 10k, and it’s expected that 2018 will be the biggest year yet.

Chef Ted is whipping up his perfectly grilled and seasoned King salmon and Coho salmon for the cook-off, and kayakers are on hand to ensure swimmers are safe throughout the race. Why not change your latitude for the better during your stay in Sitka?