All Buzzards Bay Swim participants enjoy the reward of helping save Buzzards Bay – but it's also nice to get some hardware, too. Swimmers can win prizes for fundraising, and the fastest swimmers in each age group win individual awards. Teams also compete for the coveted Wheeler Watershed Challenge Cup and the Quicks Award for high school teams.
Individuals can win awards for fundraising, finish time, and length of participation.
The top three individual fundraisers win awards and prizes. We also award a prize to the top individual fundraiser who is a new swimmer. Virtual swimmers can win fundraising prizes, too. Visit the Fundraising page to see this year's fundraising prizes.
The fastest overall male and female swimmers will win awards. The fastest swimmers in each of the following age groups will also win awards: 11-13, 14-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-90.
Length of Participation
Swimmers who have participated in 5, 10, or 20 Buzzards Bay Swims are honored with an award.
If you've done 20 Buzzards Bay Swims, you're probably as magical (and wrinkled) as a pukwudgie! The Pukwudgie Award honors swimmers who have participated in 20 Buzzards Bay Swims, swimming a total of 24 miles, equivalent to the full length of the Bay. Pukwudgies are figures from native Wampanoag folklore known for making mischief along the shores of Buzzards Bay.
Swimmers who have participated in ten Buzzards Bay Swims — swimming a total of 12 miles, equivalent to the distance from New Bedford to Cuttyhunk Island — receive the Cuttyhunk Award.
Six Mile Award
Swimmers who have participated in five Buzzards Bay Swims will receive the Six Mile Award. This award honors swimmers who have swam a total of 6 miles (1.2 miles for five years), equivalent to swimming the entire width of Buzzards Bay.
The fastest team wins the Wheeler Watershed
Form a team and you could win even more awards! (If you've already registered and want to join a team, you can do so in your Participant Center.)
The team with the highest fundraising amount wins an award.
The fastest overall team and the fastest youth teams win awards.
Wheeler Watershed Challenge Cup (Fastest Adult Team)
All teams of participants 19 and up are eligible to compete for the Richard Wheeler Watershed Challenge Cup. This coveted award goes to the team with the fastest average time (determined by averaging the team's three fastest individual times). There's no limit as to how big teams can be, but remember that only the top 3 times will be averaged. Consider breaking into smaller teams if you'd like more scores to count, or just keep one big team to share the glory with all of the members of your team!
The winning team’s name is added to the Wheeler Cup, which you can choose to display at the team’s local pool, library, town hall, police station, or firehouse for one year.
Quicks Awards (Fastest Youth Teams)
Youth teams are eligible to win the Quicks Awards. These awards are named after Quicks Hole, an area of water located between Pasque and Nashawena islands in the Elizabeth Islands chain. Quicks Hole has some of the fastest currents in Buzzards Bay.
Your school or swim club can become eligible to win the Quicks Award by registering a team of swimmers who are at least 11 years old. Youth teams compete in two age categories: 11-13 year olds and 14-18 year olds. Teams should be made up of swimmers of the same gender, and we recommend four members per team.
To determine which youth teams win the Quicks Awards, we average the three fastest times on each team. The fastest girls and boys youth teams in both age groups win a Quicks Award banner and other great prizes. (There's no limit to team size, but remember that only the top 3 times will be averaged. Consider breaking one large team into smaller teams if you'd like more scores to count.)
There’s another great reason to swim as part of a youth team: your fundraising minimum is only $200 for every four team members. (That's only $50 per swimmer instead of $150!)