Point series for ocean swimmers among new additions to Semana Nautica Festival

Ocean Swimmer of the Year

For the first time, the Semana Nautica Association will name a male and female Ocean Swimmer of the Year. (Presidio Photo)

There?s been a little spice added to this year?s Semana Nautica Summer Sports Festival, and the extra kick figures to generate more participation and interest in the various competitions, which begin June 29 and run through July 14.

The most newsworthy additions to the 76th edition of Semana Nautica include:

?Participants in the ocean swims will be in the running for male and female ocean swimmers of the year honors. The titles will by determined by the results of four events. (Details Below)

?The 5-mile run-swim biathlon is being sanctioned by USA Triathlon as the Southwest Region Aquathon Championship.

Will Montgomery - Beach Volleyball

Local volleyball product Will Montgomery will return to defend his championship at the CBVA Men’s Open.

?A new 5-mile stand up paddle and prone paddleboard event is being hosted by the Santa Barbara Lifeguard Association.

?The Santa Barbara Open tennis tournament is offering a record $5,000 in prize money for the open divisions.

The action kicks off Saturday and Sunday (June 29-30) with the California Beach Volleyball Association?s Santa Barbara Open. Twenty-four women?s and men?s teams will battle on courts set up in front of the Bath House at East Beach. The women play on Saturday and the men on Sunday, both starting at 9 a.m. The teams will play a bracketed, double-elimination format.

Santa Barbara High alum Will Montgomery returns to defend the men?s title with a new partner, Avery Drost, a former East Beach local. The pair have won two titles this season, taking ?AAA? tournaments at Hermosa Beach and the Manhattan Beach Pier. Montgomery ? who is featured on the Semana Nautica poster ? added a third CBVA victory at the Laguna Beach AAA on June 15 with former USC star Tri Bourne.

On the women?s side, Westmont coach Patti Cook is entered with partner Dana Kabashima, a former Villanova player. Another local team expected to enter is Sammie Brown-Emily Rottman, recent winners of the Santa Barbara A.

4th of July 15k

This year’s Semana Nautica 4th of July 15k run is the 59th edition.

With Ocean Swimmer of the Year titles at stake, this year?s ocean swims figure to be highly competitive.

To be eligible for the award, competitors must do a Reef and Run Series mile swim on either July 5 or 11, a Nite Moves 1k (July 3 or 10), the Semana Nautica Mullen and Henzell one-mile (July 6) and either the 3-miler on July 7 or the 6-miler on July 14.

Swimmers will be awarded points based on their finish in each race. The lowest point total from one Reef and Run, one Nite Moves, the 1-mile and either the 3 mile or 6 mile wins the title. If a swimmer doesn?t do the 3- or 6-mile events, a 40-point penalty will be added to their score.

John Abrami, coach at the Santa Barbara Swim Club, considers Andria Cohen and Becky Glusac as the early favorites for the women?s award and Scott Reed and Ed Smith as the top choices for the men.

Smith traditionally does all the Semana Nautica distance swims and the biathlon. Jane Cairns, director of the 6-mile event, said Smith will be making the journey from Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry?s Beach for the 11th straight year. He is one of three swimmers to do the swim 10 times. Cairns and Jim Isaac are the others.

Semana Nautica events:

June 29-30: The Santa Barbara Open men?s and women?s volleyball tournaments at the East Beach Bath House will feature top local players and players who have been part of various professional tours. They?ll be vying for $1,000 in prize money. Besides Montgomery and Drost, the team of Parker Kalmbach and Hawk Hatcher look strong. Hatcher is ranked No. 1 in CBVA points for AAA players while Kalmbach is No. 5. Strong local teams include Dillan Bennett and John Hancock; Ric Cervantes-Ben Koski and Marcelo Duarte-Tim Nestlerode. For the women, the team of Katie Spieler-Julia Chamberlin figures to challenge for the title. Spieler is a Dos Pueblos grad who plays for Hawaii.

The 77th Santa Barbara Open Tennis Tournament begins at the Municipal Courts and at Pershing Park. The open division is offering $5,000 in prize money, which should lure several high-level players throughout the Southland. Early local entries include Miles Seemann, Chase Melton, Natalia Lozano and Zsuzsana Fordo. The tournament will continue on Sunday and the following weekend. Also during the tournament, the Tennis Patrons will induct local legend Jack Sanford into their Hall of Fame.

July 3: Nite Moves 1k swim, 5k run and swim-run aquathon at Leadbetter Beach Park. The 1k swim is part of Semana Nautica?s ocean swim points series for Swimmer of the Year honors

Ocean Water Polo - Santa Barbara

An ocean water polo tournament will be held at Stearns Wharf for the second year in a row.

July 4: The day starts at 8 a.m. with the 59th running of the 15-kilometer road race through the neighborhoods around San Marcos High. The ?Granddaddy” of Central Coast events is run by the Santa Barbara Athletic Association.

The Santa Barbara Foresters play their annual Fourth of July game at UCSB?s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. This year?s game is part of the Rawlings California Cup.

July 5: Youth swimmers from clubs all over Southern California invade Los Banos Del Mar Pool for the three-day Age-Group Swim Meet.

The Reef & Run Series goes off on a Friday with 1-kilometer, 500-meter and 1-mile swims. The mile swim is part of the ocean swim points series for Swimmer of the Year honors.

July 6: The mile ocean swim off East Beach figures to draw several members of the Santa Barbara Swim Club, including hot shots like Walker Bell, Alex Valente, Olivia Smith and Ali Powell. Coach Mark Warkentin, a 2008 Olympian, also may enter.

The open division of the Santa Barbara Tennis Open will offer a record $5,000.

The open division of the Santa Barbara Tennis Open will offer a record $5,000.

An ocean water polo tournament will be staged on the east side of Stearns Wharf. Tournament director Wolf Wigo, men?s water polo coach at UCSB, expects 10 teams to compete.

July 7: A busy day at the shore with the 3-mile ocean swim at 9 a.m., followed by a Stand Up Paddle and prone paddleboard five-mile race and then the USA Triathlon-sanctioned 5-mile biathlon (a 4-mile beach run followed by a 1-mile swim).

July 8: Cyclists get into the act at the DMI Monday Night 10-mile Time Trial at Cathedral Oaks and Los Carneros.

July 10: Nite Moves at Leadbetter Beach Park. The 1k swim is part of the ocean swim points series for Swimmer of the Year honors.

July 11: Reef & Run swims at East Beach. The mile swim is part of the ocean swim points series.

The annual Semana Nautica Art Show reception at the Cabrillo Pavilion, 5 p.m.

July 13: The Al Orosco Memorial men?s and women?s softball tournament at Elings Park draws teams from all over Southern California. The tourney runs through Sunday.

Beach volleyball veterans take over the East Beach courts for the CBVA Men?s and Women?s Masters Tournament.

The always popular Krazy Kardboard Kayak Race takes place at West Beach.

July 14: Masters swimmers take over Los Banos Pool for the Reg Richardson Masters Meet.

Youth sailors show the stuff in the Sea Shells and Sabot sail boat races off West Beach.

The 6-mile swim from Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry?s Beach traditionally draws some top open-water marathon swimmers. Among those expecting to enter is San Luis Obispo?s Dave Van Mouwerik, who planned to do a 20-plus mile swim across a lake in Sweden before coming to Santa Barbara.