California Pier Series Is Underway

California Pier Series Is Underway

Courtesy of Katherine Horvath, Southern California.

Ray Meltvedt and Katherine Horvath are organizing the upcoming California Pier Series. Horvath explains, “Ray and I started Merpeople close to a year ago. We were looking for like-minded people to have ocean adventures with who wanted to swim at all sorts of beaches, and sometimes go long and mix it up with beach yoga, beach and trail runs, and hikes up mountains even.

We gathered up a few people who we knew who were interested and it grew from there. Whenever we would swim, people would ask us who we are and where and when we swim and whether they could join us. We now have 60+ Merpeople – many are triathletes, multi-sport. All are beach -, ocean- and adventure-loving individuals.

This past summer as a group, we swam the entire 67.5 km Orange County coastline in 4 – 4.8 km segments. Each Sunday, we would swim a new section – typically one way only. Ray and I would give the swimmers rides back to their cars at the start and we would have a bagel and coffee party in the van. We had kayak support for most of these swims provided by volunteer kayakers. We did one 12.8 km swim where we hired Dan Simonelli to kayak. We gave finisher medals at the end. We figured with COVID-19, everything was cancelled so we would organize and do our own events.

Our 2021 challenge is the California Pier Series. The goal is to swim around all 38 California piers in 12 segments. Once a month we swim 3-4 piers. We already did the first segment which was Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach, Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages, and Scripps Beach. Those were the biggest waves I have ever swum in (3 – 3.6 meters or 10-12 feet), but it made for a most excellent adventure.

We are doing the next segment on Saturday, February 12th. We will be swimming around the piers of Oceanside Beach, San Clemente, Balboa [shown below] and Newport Beach [shown above]. People are welcome to join for some or all of them.”

If interested, contact Katherine Horvath at or Ray Meltvedt at

Balboa Pier in high surf in Newport Beach, California

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Steven Munatones