North Shore series offers open-ocean competitions

| July 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
Swimmers race around the final buoy toward the finish line during the one-mile Aloha Salads’ Summer Sprint, June 23, part of the North Shore Swim Series.

Swimmers race around the final buoy toward the finish line during the one-mile Aloha Salads’ Summer Sprint, June 23, part of the North Shore Swim Series.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

NORTH SHORE – The summer just became a lot more competitive!

Welcome to the 2012 North Shore Swim Series — a grueling four-race series set in sunny Hawaii’s North Shore, with each race getting progressively longer and harder.

These are races that are not designed for an amateur swimmer.

The first of the races, the Aloha Salad Summer Sprint, June 23, featured a course from Sunset Beach to Pipeline. This one-mile race kicked off the series and suggested a thrilling finish with more than 700 participants entering the water in staggered heats.

The next race, Cholo’s Waimea Bay Swim, was held two weeks later, July 7, and boasted a 1.2-mile swim sprint around Waimea Bay. The participants for this race neared 800 swimmers.

Among those participants were many members of the military, including Capt. Travis Toole, commander, 34th Engineer Company, 65th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command; 1st Lt. Eric Gutierrez, executive officer, 34th Eng. Co.; 2nd Lt. Marshall Farmer, platoon leader, 34th Eng. Co.; and Sgt. Maj. Victor Rodriguez, 8th TSC supply section.

“Swimming has always been a pasttime of mine,” Toole said. “Swimming is easier on the joints than running, and it’s a great way to stay in shape. It’s just plain fun.”

The event coordinator, the sponsors and the series itself enjoyed participation from military members.

“We appreciate all the military involvement in everything we do,” said Chris Gardner, event coordinator. “We used to have a military category, but they’re so fast that we make them swim with everyone else now.”

The North Shore Swim Series is listed as one of the top 10 open water swim series in America, said Rae Flanagan, marketing director for the series.

“As the series gets larger, we notice that people are coming from further and further away,” she continued. “We have a number of international entries, and we had a couple of standout swimmers show up: Eric Nelsson, Kasy Johnson, Steve Allnutt, and Jayson Hagi. They’re all popular open water names that come out to the series year after year.”

Many of the participants come out and use the races as training for larger events.

“There are a lot of people here training for triathlons,” said Gardner. “Others are here for fun. People love to swim, and we have a gorgeous place to swim. It’s a legacy sport.”

The next race will be held July 21; it is Jaco’s Chuns to Waimea Swim, a 1.6-mile swim from Chun’s Reef to Waimea Bay.

The series finishes Aug. 4 with a 2.3-mile swim sprint from Pipeline to Waimea Bay and is appropriately named Jamba Juice’s North Shore Challenge.

North Shore Swim Series

To learn more about the North Shore Swim Series and other Hawaii swim-related information, visit

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Category: Community, Fitness

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