Peer-to-Peer Pressure From Pier-to-Pier

Peer-to-Peer Pressure From Pier-to-Pier

Up and down the coasts from Brighton to Busselton and many places between, piers dot the coastline of hundreds of countries. But there may be no other place on Earth that melds the sport of open water swimming and piers as well as California.

From San Diego in the south to Santa Cruz in the north, the 770 miles (1,240 km) of coastline is punctuated with piers that stick out in the Pacific Ocean. The centerpiece of most beach cities, crowds gather to fish, shop, eat, and swim at these piers.

The Oak Street swimmers of Laguna Beach, California came up with a uniquely challenging way to combine their passion for ocean swimming and the piers that they often swim towards and around in pier-to-pier swims and around-the-pier swims.

Scott Zornig and the Oak Street pod, 14 and crew, are going to attempt an unprecedented adventure swim this weekend. “We are going to start in Santa Barbara and swim around every mainland pier in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. 26 piers in total or a little over 11 miles with an estimated 24 hours of swimming.”

The group is going to get in the water on Saturday in Santa Barbara at 8 am and plans to finish 24 hours later by 8 am on Sunday morning. They will be traveling, eating, resting, and getting re-warmed together in a bus as they travel from pier to pier. “The real challenge is going to be to get wet, cold, dry, and warm 27 times,” predicts Zornig. “I personally think this may be harder than swimming from Catalina to the mainland due to the getting in and getting out factor.”

But they will be cozy warm huddled in the team bus encouraging each other on. Their teamwork and camaraderie will both provide plenty of incentive for everyone to complete their journey. Three of group (see below) have already completed a 20.2-mile Catalina Channel crossing, another swimmers is scheduled for this year, and the rest of the swimmers have all been on Catalina Channel relays so they will be in a good position to test Zornig’s theory.

Julie Flanagan, Lynn Kubasek, Julian Rusinek, Ray Meltvedt, Cherie Edborg, Francisco Araujo, Theo Schmeeckle, Tim McFadden, Carol Hayden, Peter Hayden, Lisa Nordholm, Patsee Ober, Natalie Merrow, Tanya MacLean, and Scott Zornig.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association