CANCELLED: Cream City Classic 2020

Milwaukee Water Commons

Saturday, August 1, 2020

USMS Sanction : 200-W002

Milwaukee Water Commons

Open Water Registration


Registration Schedule

It is now Central Time (CDT) on .
This competition is closed by the host.  EVENT CANCELED: REFUNDS PENDING
Open Close
Swimmer Registration Wed, Apr 1, 2020
12:01 AM
Fri, May 1, 2020
11:59 PM

This competition is limited to the first 140 entrants.
Currently there are 12 entrants.

EVENT UPDATE: In light of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Cream City Classic scheduled for August 1st, 2020.
In line with the mission of this event, public health & safety are our top priorities. At its heart, this open water swim race is about gathering together to celebrate the health of our common waters and we can't do that without putting the swimmers, volunteers, race timers, safety personnel, and spectators at risk of infection. 
Everyone who already registered will receive a full refund before the end of May.
If you have questions, please email them to

Cream City Classic
Milwaukee's First Open River Swim
August 1, 2020

This event is organized and hosted by Milwaukee Water Commons.

Public Pier at E. Erie St. & N. Jackson St. in the Third Ward


Check-In: 6:30 - 7:30 AM
Mandatory Pre-Race Swimmer Safety Meeting: 7:30 AM

Start Time:  8 AM

Before July 1: $50 + US Masters Swimming Membership (one-day registration available at check-out)
July 1-July 26: $75 + US Masters Swimming Membership (one-day registration available at check-out)
Online entry fee is paid by credit card to Due to the fixed cost of running an event such as this, we do not offer refunds for event cancellation or if you are unable to swim for any reason.

Length of Swim
1.5 miles

Max Capacity
150 Swimmers

Swimmer Eligibility
Must be a member of US Masters Swimming and 18 years or over. Adults who are not members of USMS have the option of a one-day membership during the online entry process.  The one-day membership is $15 (in addition to the event entry fee of $50 or $75)

Please indicate whether or not you will be wearing a wetsuit during the race.  We will have separate wetsuit divisions this year.  If you need to change your decision, you can do so by contacting Milwaukee Water Commons before July 26th, 2020 at or (414)763-6199 ext.4.

Event entry includes a t-shirt. Swimmers who enter after July 6 will be mailed a t-shirt instead of receiving it at the event.

Event Director: Kirsten Shead

Phone: (414) 236-0922

Swim Route Map

Details & What to Expect

  • Swimmers are required to wear the fluorescent caps provided by the race organizer.
  • Expected water temperature: 68 - 73 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In-water start and finish adjacent to the River Dock, where the water is 15-25 feet deep, to avoid any potential hazards at the bottom of the river. 
  • Swimmers are required to avoid diving off the dock to get to the starting line. 
  • There is no expectation of any interference or danger from marine life or of any significant impact of tides or currents on swimmer performance or safety.
  • Milwaukee Riverkeeper will be testing the water the day before the race to ensure safe swimming conditions.
  • Wetsuits are allowed unless water temperatures exceed 78 degrees (as per USMS rules).  If water temperature is between 57-60 degrees, the course will be shortened and wetsuits required.  Below 57 degrees, the race will be canceled and held on August 18th.
  • Other assistive devices including fins, snorkels, masks, and paddles are not allowed.
  • Swimmers are not permitted to wear headphones during the race.
  • EMTs and lifeguards will be present.
  • Boating access will be restricted during the race by the US Coast Guard and Milwaukee Police.


  • This race is not for novices; it is for experienced open-water swimmers only.  
  • If swimmers do not round the halfway buoy in 45 minutes they can be pulled from the water per the discretion of the race director and/or safety director.
  • Swimmers may experience random flotsam and jetsom in the river.
  • If river currents are at flood stage due to recent rains, the race will be canceled or postponed, mainly due to the possibility of woody debris or other hazards coming downstream.

Race Status
The race may be canceled for the following reasons:  
(If this happens, we will send out email notifications the day before the race and post to the event website and Facebook page.)

  • Recent significant rainfall;
  • Severe weather including lightning;
  • Water quality tests that do not meet safety standards.

Note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from " Events."

Online Registration closed on 5/1/2020.
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