The Golden Rivet Swim

2019 Golden Rivet Bay Parade Swim

Golden Gate Bridge to McCovey Cove
Timed solo swim, timed four-person relay, and open relay divisions

Registration for the Golden Rivet Swim is now closed

A supported 6.5 mile swim in the Baykeeper Bay Parade on Sunday, August 11, the Golden Rivet Swim begins at the Golden Gate and finishes with a rousing Jumbotron finale at McCovey Cove. It is hosted in partnership with the iconic Dolphin Club of San Francisco.

Swim Details

Solo & Relay Options  Course Map  |  Support Boat Requirement 

Timing |  Event Schedule |  Finale  |  Exit Logistics & Amenities 

After Party  The Golden Rivet Award  Age & Payment Details 

Solo & Relay Options

There are three ways for swimmers to participate in the Golden Rivet swim of the Bay Parade:

TIMED SOLO: For experienced swimmers, no wetsuits

TIMED TEAM RELAY: Teams of four, prescribed swim rotations (4x20min, 4x15min, 4x10min); no wetsuits

OPEN TEAM RELAY: Teams of any size; wetsuits optional

COURSE: Golden Gate Bridge to McCovey Cove — approximately 6.5 miles (5.7 nm). The swim is expected to take between 2.5 and 3 hours on a flood tide, depending on swimmer speed. Course is the same for all swimmers.

Swim course map

SUPPORT BOAT REQUIREMENT: Each solo swimmer and relay team must arrange their own dedicated motorized support boat and pilot. Support boats will deliver swimmers to the starting point and accompany swimmers along the route, overseeing the health and safety of each swimmer. For assistance with securing a support boat, email To learn more about the requirements for support boats, click here to read boater instructions.

Swimmers should plan to coordinate with their support pilots to meet on the morning of the swim at the boat's launch point or other agreed-upon pick-up point. If you have been approved to meet your support pilot at the swim start instead, you must arrive at the Dolphin Club at 8 a.m. to be assigned to a Zodiac to shuttle you to your swim support boat.

TIMING: Swimmers jump from their support boats at the start of the swim. Swim times will be captured by timekeeping boats positioned at the beginning and end of the course. Swimmers will be provided Bay Parade swim caps in one of three colors that correspond to their swim division.

Swimmer launchAfter the end of the swim, swimmers must be at the breakwater outside McCovey Cove by the designated time to participate in the parade finale into McCovey Cove. In the event that a swimmer will not arrive at the breakwater on time, that swimmer may be repositioned at the discretion of the Swim Director. Note that the Swim Director may adjust the required arrival time and swim start times closer to the event, based on current Bay conditions.

To receive your swim cap before the event, please email to arrange shipping or pickup from the Baykeeper office. If you are part of a relay team, please choose one team member to be responsible for receiving and bringing the team’s swim caps on the day of the event.

Swim Finish


Exact timing is subject to change. Detailed instructions will be emailed to participants prior to the event.

9:45am - Swimmers and boaters arrive at the swim start at the Golden Gate Bridge

10:00am - All swimmers begin their swim course

By 12:30pm - Swimmers arrive at the swim finish at the breakwater outside McCovey Cove

12:45pm - Swimmers participate in the Bay Parade Grand Finale in McCovey Cove

1:00-1:15pm - Swimmers exit the water for showers & refreshments while boats dock

1:30-3:30pm - Bay Parade After Party

FINALE: Following the timed portion of the course, swimmers will join stand up paddleboarders and kayakers for the Bay Parade finale in McCovey Cove. This festive on-the-water demonstration of support for a healthy Bay will be broadcast on the Jumbotron at Oracle Park.

Onlookers and supporters can cheer on Bay Parade participants along the walking pier at 12:45pm on the day of the Parade, August 11.

Grand Finale

EXIT LOGISTICS & AMENITIES: Before joining the finale, make sure you have coordinated with your support boat pilot on whether you will return to your support boat after the finale shot, or whether you will instead swim to the exit in South Beach Yacht Harbor. After the finale, support boats will navigate to their home berths or to assigned guest docks on the north side of the harbor.

If you exit at the swim finish point, snacks and warm showers will be available nearby. Swimmers should arrange to have a bag at the showers with a towel, change of clothes, a warm drink, and any other necessities at the swim finish. There are several ways to arrange this:

  • Drop your belongings at the Dolphin Club in the morning: A courier will be provided to transport swimmers' belongings from the Dolphin Club on Sunday morning. Swimmers wishing to use this service should secure belongings in a bag clearly labeled with their full name, and leave bag at the designated drop-off in the Dolphin Club (502 Jefferson Street) between 7am and 9am on the day of the Bay Parade, August 11.
  • Drop your belongings at the Baykeeper office in advance: Swimmers may drop off a labeled bag at Baykeeper's downtown Oakland office during business hours the week prior to the event, until 5pm on Friday, August 9.
  • Have someone bring your gear to the showers: A friend or family member can bring your belongings to the shower area to meet you at the end of the swim.

PARTY: The Bay Parade Party takes place within walking distance of South Beach Harbor from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at South Beach Park. Swim registration includes one ticket to the party. Additional party tickets are available for purchase for $50 each.

Golden Rivet Award

THE GOLDEN RIVET AWARD: The Golden Rivet Award recognizes the fastest soloswimmer, fastest four-person relay team, and biggest fundraiser from each year's Bay Parade. Winners' names are engraved on the award plaque below a solid gold rivet. There will be other exciting prizes for all fundraising participants who reach certain fundraising targets.

Plus, the 2019 Golden Rivet Award winners will be invited to attend the Giants game on Monday night, August 26 for an in-game ceremony celebrating the Bay Parade. Winners will be on camera from the stands and featured on the Jumbotron as part of the recognition ceremony.

There are over 1 million rivets in the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Rivet symbolizes that every effort to protect the Bay, small or large, is critical to its future as a healthy and vibrant estuary.

UNDERAGE PARTICIPANTS: Bay Parade participation is open to those under the age of 18 only with advance approval. Please email to secure approval before registering. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied at the event by a parent or guardian. Registering minors must also have a parent or guardian electronically sign the event waiver agreement in the registration form.

PAYMENT DETAILS: Due to the nature and complexity of this event, there will be no refunds, including if event is cancelled due to weather or it is modified at the discretion of event organizers to maintain the safety of all participants. Please note that Bay Parade registration fees and Bay Parade Party ticket purchases are not tax deductible. If you made a separate additional gift, it is fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For your records, San Francisco Baykeeper is a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit, tax ID number 68-0120240.

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Thank you to our 2019 Bay Parade sponsors:

Bay Parade Sponsors 2019

Swim Across AmericaBay Parade Sponsors

Photo at top by Robert McKinney; photo center by Susanne Friedrich