A school of competitive distance swimmers will take it to the river in the shadow of the Oceanic Bridge, during the annual Nav-e-Sink or Swim event that returns this Sunday morning to Rumson’s Victory Park. 

“Sink or swim” might sound like a harsh choice in a recreational context, but when a field of competitive distance swimmers takes to the Navesink River this Sunday for the ninth annual Nav-e-Sink Or Swim Distance Festival, they’ll be playing to win in one of the area’s most enjoyable small race events — and making waves for a worthy cause.

A presentation of Split Second Racing and Doug Rice — the veteran race manager whose springtime schedule included last week’s Red Bank Triathon — the morning event is sponsored by The Budzyna Family as a fundraising vehicle for melanoma awareness, with two swim courses (1.2 miles and 2.4 miles) for men and women, as well as a 300 yard Kids Swim for ages 12 and younger.

It all gets going from Victory Park beginning at 7:30 am, with prizes for the winners and race-day packet pickup for registrants available between 6:15 and 7:15 am (or pick up in advance on Saturday from 4 to 6 pm). The event web page has deep details on registration, course layout, lodging, packets, parking, Port-A-Johns and more, right here.