Long Distance Swimming – May 2021

The 2021 Oregon Open Water Preview

The coming of spring reminds us that summer is not far away, and with it the 2021 Oregon open water season.

You can find the schedule, event information, and entry links & forms for all Oregon events and information about the 2021 Oregon Open Water Series at http://swimoregon.org/events/# and http://swimoregon.org/open-water/.  Despite the hangover from our year of COVID-19 and the pandemic precautions that we still must plan to take, we have another fine year planned just for YOU!

Here is a short description of the open water offerings at each venue this summer with basic camping and parking information, so that you can plan ahead and reserve your campsites or lodging early.

  1. Foster Lake (Saturday, June 26)—USMS-sanctioned: Host team COMA and Event Director Bob Bruce will run the 11th annual Foster Lake Cable Swims—featuring the USMS Two-Mile Cable Swim National Championship—just east of Sweet Home on the only permanent cable swim west of the Allegheny Mountains (not the Rockies, the Alleghenies!).  Both one & two-mile swims are on a certified course, so National, Oregon, and course records are in play.  Online entry only (and NO day-of-race entries) at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1756&smid=13500.  Some of you have never done a cable swim, so visit comaswim.org for the records and all of the down-and-dirty details that you’re gonna need to know for these swims.

This will be the first Oregon nose-to-nose event in 18 months and the first USMS nose-to-nose national championship event since 2019.  Please get off the couch and join us to celebrate as we resume our favorite sport!

Foster Lake is centrally located within two hours of most Oregon-registered swimmers, allowing many swimmers to travel to and from the venue on event day.  For those wishing to camp, we offer tent camping (sorry, no RVs or teardrops) in Lewis Creek Park the previous night only—the fee is $17 per tent, payable with your entry, which includes your parking on Saturday.  Also, Sunnyside Park is a fully-equipped Linn County campground 1.2 miles from the race site. Call 541-967-3917, but do it soon—this campground always fills quickly.  Note: The race venue at Lewis Creek County Park has a $7 parking fee.

  1. Cascade Lakes Swim Festival at Elk Lake (Saturday, July 31)—USMS Sanctioned: Event Director Bob Bruce and host team COMA will present the 27th anniversary celebration of this event, which will be a one-day event this year due to COVID-19 uncertainties.  We’ll start with a 3000-meter swim, continue with the 1500-meter swim—the Oregon LMSC Individual & Team Championship, and finish with plenty of lolling around the beautiful lake.  COMA promises a festival atmosphere with fun family-oriented events and the usual splendid hospitality.  Event info and online entry at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1756&smid=13501.  Online entry only—there will be NO DAY-OF-RACE ENTRIES.

The nearby group campgrounds were not available, so COMA is out of the camping business for now.  Campgrounds at Elk Lake and other nearby lakes offer reserved sites through www.recreation.gov.  For cabins at the lake, go to www.elklakeresort.com.  Bend and Sunriver offer many lodging choices at various price levels but reserve your place EARLY—there are other big events in Bend on this weekend.

  1. Central Oregon Coast Swims at Eel Lake (Saturday, August 14)—USMS Sanctioned: Event Director Bob Bruce, local swim guru Ralph Mohr, and host team COMA, plan to present the 14th edition of this popular Oregon Coast event.  The event will include a two-loop 3000-meter swim, an out-and-back 500-meter predicted time swim along a line, and a one-loop 1500-meter swim.  Look for the famous Eel Lake brownies along with cookies, fruit, and hot drinks.  Online entries only, except for day-of-race entries.  Event info and online entry coming soon; stay tuned!

Due to the pandemic, the Oregon State Parks have not issued any permits yet.  We expect that they will be available in a month or two, and we will apply for our permits then.  Camping reservations at Tugman State Park can be made at Reservations Northwest at (800) 452-5687 or http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/reserve.shtml.  For further info on the event, other camping in the area, or just stuff to do, contact Ralph Mohr at rmohr1565@charter.net or 541-269-1565.

  1. Lake of the Woods Swims (Saturday, September 11)—USMS Sanctioned we think: This event will be done in conjunction with the Lake of the Woods Tri-Sport Weekend, extending our season past Labor Day.  The swim event at this beautiful venue will include both 3000-meter and 1500-meter swims (in opposite directions this year) as well as our OMS end-of-season awards.  Most details not yet finalized, so stay tuned.

Lake of the Woods has several options for the Lake of the Woods Tri/Sport Weekend.  There is tent camping at both Aspen and Sunset campgrounds which are both very close to the event site.  The official reservation closure for the facilities is Labor Day, but don’t worry, there will be spots available.  All sites in Aspen will be on a 1st come 1st served basis.  If needed we will also open sites in Sunset Campground.  To get cozy in a cabin call 866-201-4194 or check here: http://lakeofthewoodstri.com/david-r-kingsley-foundation/.  RV spots are also available; see the map here:  https://convoyant.com/resnexus/reservations/Sites/Maps?uniqueId=6D480342-463A-473C-BBB9-C9108165ECD7&mapID=2

5.       Lake Juniper Buoy Swim (Sunday, October 3)—USMS-sanctioned:  Postponing this event from the season opener due to the pandemic, host team Central Oregon Masters (COMA) and Event Director Bob Bruce will close the season by offering the 9th annual Lake Juniper Buoy Swim in the 50-meter pool at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, a.k.a. “Beautiful Lake Juniper”.  Out go the lane lines, in go the buoys!  The swim will be 1200-meters, run in small heats & smaller waves, feature the warmest water on the Oregon open water circuit, and include a big brunch afterwards.  The Buoy Swim is to open water as short track is to long-oval speed skating—close physical proximity & drafting, tight turns, forceful passing, and daring split-second tactical decisions.  Event & online entry info to be determined.  On the previous afternoon, Saturday, October 2, COMA is considering hosting a pool meet.  Together, the combination of the meet and the buoy swim would be a great value and a good enticement to spend a splendid weekend in Bend.  Stay tuned for details. You should be able to find lodging in all categories and price ranges.

You may have noticed that two of our popular venues are missing from this list.  Due to the complications, costs, and uncertainty of advance preparation due to the pandemic, Event Director Marisa Frieder has canceled the Portland Bridge Swim.  Due to similar pandemic uncertainty and unusually low water levels, Event Director Todd Lantry and host team RVM have canceled the Southern Oregon Swims at Applegate Lake.  We are saddened that these terrific events will not be held this year, but we’re looking forward eagerly to their return in 2022.

We have an active, challenging, and fun Oregon open water season planned for you.  Look for entry information and details about the Oregon Open Water Series in the OMS newsletter Aqua Master, on the OMS website www.swimoregon.org, or on individual host websites listed above.  Please join us for a wonderful summer of fitness, fellowship, and fun!

Good luck and good swimming!

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