Race Reports & Wrap-Up: Semana Nautica 2012

Race Reports & Wrap-Up: Semana Nautica 2012


Saturday, 30 June 2012, 9am. East Beach.
3-mile Ocean Swim
Water temp: 61F. Air temp: 65F.

The course: Bathhouse –> Stearns Wharf –> end of East Beach –> Bathhouse
Wetsuits = DQ
An unusual east wind gave us a nice ride to Stearns Wharf. But then the real fun started: A 1.5-mile grind against the current & a head chop. At this point I was leading by ~20 seconds.
First out of the water, 1:27 ahead of a 2008 10K Olympic Trialist.
Santa Barbara News-Press article, Part 1 (click to enlarge)
Santa Barbara News-Press article, Part 2 (click to enlarge)

Monday 7/2/2012 – Friday 7/6/2012

Attacked (Job-like) by an assortment of mysterious medical symptoms. Pink eye, head cold, weird rash behind ears (tentatively diagnosed as hot tub folliculitis)… all within 24 hours. Out of the water completely Tues-Thurs.


Saturday, 7 July 2012, 9am. East Beach.
1-mile Ocean Swim
Water temp: 58F. Air temp: 56F.

1-mile course (with 3-mile course for comparison)

Got smoked by an assortment of 17-year olds from Canyons Aquatic Club. But surely I could console myself with an age-group win? Nope. A certain also-32-year-old local Olympian came out to play.

On the bright side, Cathy won her age group:

Cathy = winner

Sunday, 8 July 2012, 9am. Goleta Beach.
6-mile Ocean Swim
Water temp: 60F. Air temp: 56-59F. 

6-mile course (with 1 & 3 mile courses for comparison)

This is such a cool swim. Possibly the most interesting, challenging, and scenic 10K(ish) in the U.S. You start at Goleta Beach and head out around the pier, keeping one solitary white buoy on your left shoulder. After that – it’s up to you and your paddler to find your way to Hendry’s Beach, 5+ miles down the coast.

You lead — I’ll follow … for now. Photo courtesy of Rob Aquatics.

The current might help you – or not. The kelp may obstruct your path – or not. The water might be 57F, or it might be 65. You just don’t know.

If you get cold and want to quit, well… there’s only one vehicle-accessible beach between Goleta & Hendry’s – so you can either swim into some deserted shore and wait for someone to rescue you (it might be a while), or strap yourself on top of your escort kayak and hope your paddler has strength in reserve. No doubt, this logistical reality has caused at least a few swimmers to reconsider just how cold they really are.

It’s a true, old-school marathon swim, and I kind of love it. No loops, no guide buoys, no wetsuit category. Ready, set, go – see you at the finish!

Cathy, despite little familiarity with the course, paddled me straight and true, and limited my kelp-crawling to a few brief moments as we cut into shore at the finish. A good team, we are.

“You’re holding it upside down!” Photo by Lynn K.

At Hendry’s, I sipped on coffee and chatted with various friends & well-wishers as other finishers trickled in over the next hour and a half. Almost everyone seemed to know almost everyone else. Jane greeted each finisher (usually with a bear hug) as they exited the water, and later honored everyone with individualized spiels. The awards were hand-made pottery (see above) and quite nice.

Local reporter E. Byrne can tell the rest of the story:

Santa Barbara News-Press article, Part 1 (click to enlarge). Victory dance was meant to be silly, but… oh well.
Santa Barbara News-Press article, Part 2 (click to enlarge)

Saturday, 14 July 2012, 9am. Los Baños Pool.
Reg Richardson Memorial Masters Long-Course Meet.
Water temp: too hot. Air temp: pleasant.

I approach pool meets as endurance events, too, so I followed a 1500m Free with a 200 IM, 100 Back, 200 Back, and a backstroke leg of a 400 medley relay – all in about four hours.

I did the 1500 as an 800 split request, with the following results (LCM):

1:10.7, 1:14.6, 1:15.2, 1:15.1, 1:15.0, 1:15.8, 1:16.3, 1:15.1 = 9:57.82

Not my greatest swim – but probably good enough for a Top Ten, along with my 1500 from April.


Yep… I live here.

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