Chip Peterson Tunes Up In Corona del Mar

Chip Peterson Tunes Up In Corona del Mar

Over 300 competitors enjoyed great weather and outstanding conditions in the annual Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim held at Corona del Mar State Beach in Orange County, California.

The annual swim is named after Don Burns, a beloved Newport Beach California lifeguard, instructor and cadet coordinator from 1956 until 1993. His legacy lives on after his death 18 years ago.

The swim is held to raise funds for a college scholarship for one of the seasonal lifeguards – and provided the idyllic setting for a summer day on the Southern California coast.

Multiple USA national pool and open water swimming champion Chip Peterson was the star of the West Coast contest. After shooting out in the lead among the mass start, Chip just kept on going navigating the course as one would expect for a world-class swimmer. “I was using the Don Burns mile as a tune-up to prepare for a full month of races coming up: the Maui Channel Swim, the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the La Jolla Rough Water Swim, the RCP Tiburon, and the Great Scottish Swim.

It felt great to get back to racing. Like I always say, I love swimming local races. Corona Del Mar was a beautiful venue and it’s always special to see the local swimming community coming together for a beach swim

Naples Islands Swim race director Merritt Johnson was the second overall female finisher behind Lexie Kelly. Like Chip, she too is preparing for future races next month. “The conditions were great. The water felt chilly at first, but after warming up and swimming hard, it felt perfect with the warm air. With the tight course and shorter distance there wasn’t much opportunity to spread out from competitors. On top of searching for buoys you have to keep any eye out for the swinging limbs of competitors. Its a fun race though and a nice warm up for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim next weekend.”

Local masters swimming stalwart Parks Wesson of Long Beach checked out the conditions before the race, strategizing how to utilize their ocean knowledge to keep up with the younger stars like Chip whose speed and navigational IQ are simply off the charts.

Because everyone wants to be like the Chip off the ol’ block.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones