Long Distance Swimming – May 2022

The 2022 Oregon Open Water Preview

The coming of spring reminds us that summer is not far away, and with it the 2022 Oregon open water season.

You can find the schedule, event information, and entry links & forms for all Oregon events and information about the 2022 Oregon Open Water Series at http://swimoregon.org/events/# and http://swimoregon.org/open-water/.  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.       Lake Juniper Buoy Swim (Sunday, May 15)—USMS-sanctioned:  Host team Central Oregon Masters (COMA) and Event Director Bob Bruce will open our season in our traditional manner by offering the 10th Lake Juniper Buoy Swim in the 50-meter pool at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, a.k.a. “Beautiful Lake Juniper” for this event.  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.  For event info & entry, see https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1352&smid=14885.   On the previous afternoon, Saturday, May 14, COMA will host a pool meet, at this point the ONLY LONG COURSE MEET on this summer’s Oregon schedule.  Together, the combo of the meet and the buoy swim is a great value and good enticement to spend a splendid weekend in Bend.  We’ve even reduced the entry fee for the two-day weekend!  For event info & entry, see the link above.  Stay tuned for details. You should be able to find lodging in all categories and price ranges, but note that it is the same weekend as the Pole-Peddle-Paddle, a major multisport event in Bend.

  1. Foster Lake (Saturday, June 26)—CANCELLED: Faced with the closure of our cable swim course and a skinny, unsurveyed patch of water for a loop-style swim, host team COMA and Event Director Bob Bruce have cancelled this event for this year due to safety concerns.  Stay tuned for updates, as they are scheduled to host the USMS 2-Mile Cable Swim National Championships on a new cable course in 2023.


  1. Portland Bridge Swim (Sunday, July 10)—USMS-sanctioned: See Portland like you never have before!  Event Director Marisa Frieder will host our longest event of the season, the 10th edition of a 17-km swim downstream in the Willamette River.  The swim will also include 3-person relays.  Start at Sellwood Riverfront Park, swim downstream passing under all 11 of Portland’s bridges, and end at Cathedral Park.  For safety reasons, this swim will start early, will require an individual escort (non-motorized boat or kayak), and entry is limited.  Additionally, there is a qualifying swim requirement of 5-km; think about swimming your postal 5-km soon after May 15 to use as your qualifying swim.  You can find info and entry at https://portlandbridgeswim.com/.  As I write, there are still a few spots open for you.

I strongly suspect that you won’t be planning to camp the night before this swim, and there are plenty of hotel accommodations in the Portland Metro area.

  1. Applegate Lake (Saturday-Sunday, July 16-17)—USMS-sanctioned: Event Director Todd Lantry and host team Rogue Valley Masters (RVM) will present the 35th Southern Oregon open water swims at Applegate Lake, featuring the Oregon LMSC Association 1500-meter Team Championships.  Saturday’s events will be 2500, 5000 & 10,000-meter swims, run simultaneously, perfect for this venue.  Sunday features the classic 1500-meter race and the popular 3 x 500-meter pursuit relay.  Look forward to hot weather, clear & balmy 73-77 degree water, fine camping, great recreational or cultural opportunities (bring your mountain or road bike, or your appetite for wine tasting), and the ever-bountiful RVM hospitality.  So come swim in the lake, bring friends and family, and have fun!  Info & online entry at https://swimoregon.org/events/#.

RVM has reserved tent camping sites and self-contained RV camping spaces (no hookups) at race site Hart-Tish Park.  For Hart-Tish camping, contact Jocelyn Sanford at 541-210-0088.  Other camping sites near Hart-Tish include Jackson, Watkins, and Carberry Campgrounds—call the Hart-Tish Concessionaire at 541-899-9220 or www.applegatelake.com.  Beaver Sulfer campground may be reserved at 1-877-444-6777 or www.reserveamerica.com.  For other accommodations away from the race site, search the web for lodgings in Ruch, Jacksonville, Medford, or Ashland.  Note that the race venue at Hart-Tish Park has a $5 per day vehicle parking fee; please drive down the hill to the general store and purchase your parking pass so that you can park before the event.  No dogs are allowed in Hart-Tish Park.

  1. Cascade Lakes Swim Festival at Elk Lake (Saturday, July 30)—USMS Sanctioned: Event Director John Malfatto and host team COMA will present the 28th celebration of this event, which will be a one-day event again this year due to COVID-19 uncertainties.  We’ll start with a 5000-meter swim, continue with the 1500-meter swim, 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://swimoregon.org/events/#.  Online entry only—there will be NO DAY-OF-RACE ENTRIES.

The nearby group campgrounds are 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 as early as you can.

  1. Central Oregon Coast ‘Wild Swims’ at Eel Lake (Friday-Sunday, August 12-14)—no formal races: Last year, this event was cancelled three days before it was scheduled due to my untimely heart attack.  Brilliantly, swimmers gathered at the lake anyway and had a marvelous time camping, various swim challenges, and lots of socializing.  There will be no formal races again this year because I will be otherwise occupied far away, but we’d like to try the same concept again and encourage everyone to gather at the lake again and create your own magic.  What a great opportunity to vacation away from home with your open water swim group!

‘Wild swims’ is the term our British cousins use to describe open water adventures; we honor them by appropriating and using that term to describe this event.  For safety, please encourage and recruit folks with kayaks and paddleboards to come.  For organization, I recommend using the OMS Facebook page (see https://www.facebook.com/oregonmastersswimming?fref=ts) to figure out logistics like meeting times, possible swims, a potluck or two, etc.)  Go to it!

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.

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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