First held in 1929 as the Miss America Pageant Swim, the newly renamed and revamped pageant swim will honor the late politician Jim Whelan when it takes place this Saturday from Atlantic City’s Michigan Avenue Beach at 10 a.m.
Renowned as the oldest continuous open-water swim in the United States, the competition will feature some of the best swimmers on the East Coast and follow the original one-mile course that runs along the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk and ends just south of the newly renamed Sen. James Whelan Boardwalk Hall.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue this event tradition, and honor one of the biggest proponents of swimming in the South Jersey region, Sen. Jim “the whale” Whelan,” race coordinator Brian Elko said. “The community has been incredibly supportive of the effort to preserve and foster more large-scale race efforts like this one, and we look forward to growing this event year after year and attracting swimmers throughout the country to a challenging, safe and fun swim.”
Whelan was a nationally ranked distance swimmer when he attended Temple University in Philadelphia. His political career included serving as an Atlantic City councilman and mayor before moving on to become a state assemblyman and then a state senator. He was a senator when he died Aug. 22, 2017.
Registration for the swim will be held on the Boardwalk at Michigan Avenue beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Results will be provided by Split Second Timing company, and awards provided by Johnson’s Popcorn and Speedo, along with a commemorative T-shirt sponsored by JASM Consulting, ACBP, SeaTOW and Steel Pier.