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Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim Announces Downriver Move to Cascade Locks

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Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim Announces Downriver Move to Cascade Locks

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– The Columbia River’s biggest open-water swim will keep its traditional Labor Day date plus all other signature aspects of the event, including the Sternwheeler ride across the river –

Hood River, Ore. May 2, 2019 Each Labor Day, 500 hardy souls leap from a Sternwheeler into the Columbia River and swim a mile across the channel to Hood River. On Sept. 2, 2019, the popular Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim will again send swimmers across the Columbia, but this time, they’ll be doing it 20 miles down the river, in Cascade Locks, Ore.
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The decision to relocate the event was made by the swim’s organizer, the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, after much deliberation and planning. The change was made to improve numerous factors, including event logistics and costs. Prior to making the final decision, the Chamber consulted with past participants, and 95% of respondents indicated that they were in favor of moving the swim to Cascade Locks.
“The Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim has been a favorite Labor Day tradition for many over the past few decades. What started as a solo swim by Hood River orchardist Roy Webster has evolved to a fantastic event that draws swimmers from across the country and around the world. The relocation to Cascade Locks does nothing to change the event at its core, which is a fun challenge to swim across the Columbia, and it will allow us to continue the aspects of the event that draw open-swim lovers back year after year – such as riding the Sternwheeler across the river, the majestic Columbia River Gorge setting and the camaraderie of the attendees – plus make a number of positive changes,” said Mike Glover, President and CEO of the Hood River Chamber of Commerce.
“The new venue also gives us the potential to grow the event even more in the future. We are excited to partner with the City of Cascade Locks, and we’re confident that this year’s event will be the best one yet,” he continued.
“The Port and City look forward to having this exciting event based here in our wonderful community. This event will be one of the mainstays of our community and fits very well into our aggressive event strategy to help local businesses,” said Jess Grove, Cascade Locks Port Commission President.
What’s New for the 2019 Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim
New Location
Sternwheeler Dock at the Port of Cascade Locks
(299 NW Portage Road, Cascade Locks, OR 97014)

  • Cascade Locks is a 20-minute drive west of Hood River, and a 45-minute drive from Portland.

New Time
Check-in will begin at 6:30 am, an hour later than previous swims.

  • The event registration area is an easy 10-yard walk to the Sternwheeler dock. This will dramatically cut down on the time between registration and boarding the boat.
  • Boarding of the Sternwheeler begins at 7:15 am and ends at 8 am.

New Swim Route
The swim route will increase by two-tenths of a mile. The final route has not been finalized, but the organizers have identified a proposed route, which is two-tenths of a mile longer than the Hood River route.

  • The swim organizers will provide participants with in-depth information about the swim route as the exact location is determined.
  • The safety of the swim will remain intact, with volunteer and safety patrol boats and extensive, non-motorized safety picket lines, as seen in prior years.

Registration is currently open for the 2019 Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim. The price remains $65. To register, visit hoodriver.org/roy-webster-cross-channel-swim/. 
About Hood River, Ore.
Located at the crossroads of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the magnificent Cascade Range and just an hour from Portland, Hood River is wildly gorge-ous, offering outdoor recreation, dramatic vistas, historic landmarks, bountiful fruit, and fantastic food, wine, beer and cider. With accommodations ranging from luxury hotels to historic B&Bs, Hood River is a four-season destination for families, outdoor enthusiasts, weddings, corporate events and more. It was named a Top 10 Wine Destination for 2017 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and 2015 Best Adventure Town in the West by Sunset magazine.
The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce supports economic development, community development, and destination marketing for Hood River, Cascade Locks, Mosier, Odell, Parkdale, Pine Grove and Mount Hood. hoodriver.org
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