What Comes Around, Goes Around...Piers

What Comes Around, Goes Around…Piers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The inaugural Fear No Pier swim along the Southern California coast was conceived by Scott Zornig of Laguna Beach.

The multi-stage expedition swim consisted of swimming a cumulative total of 19 km of ocean swimming around 27 piers that were spread out over 311 miles (500 km) of California coastline.

The series of pier swims required nearly 24 hours of effort.

Between logistical planning, driving along scenic highways, finding parking spots and fighting occasional seaside traffic, the swimmers still had to tackle each of the piers, some engulfed in fog, some with abundant marine life, some abandoned and some brimming with fishermen and vacationers.

But the stage swim concept – first held in August 2013 – was undeniably a new, unique and enjoyable challenge. With a few dozen piers jutting out from the Southern California coastline, the round-the-pier project ultimately grew to include several dozen piers along the entire California coast.

After the first attempt, Zornig and his 14 ocean-going colleagues got about to think about an even greater challenge. They wanted more. So they scoured Google Maps for additional piers. They looked for piers from the US-Mexican border in the south to California-Oregon state border to the north.

I started researching piers in Northern California and while doing so, discovered that we had missed four piers in Southern California – Dana Point, Coronado, Shelter island and Embarcadero and some out in the channel islands as well as the 19 piers in Northern California and another 32+ piers which are in San Francisco Bay,” Zornig explained

Zornig went online to find piers in out-of-the-way places and added them to the Fear No Pier list. “We include piers that were built on the channel islands too. There appears to be only four: two on Catalina Island, one on Santa Rosa Island, and one on Santa Cruz Island. So in total, we have 54 total piers possible to swim around in California.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones