Big waves don’t stop Nite Moves’ ocean swim

Entering and exiting the ocean was an adventure for the swimmers at Wednesday's Nite Moves in Leadbetter Cove. A swimmer in the impact zone looks up at an incoming wave.

A swimmer in the impact zone looks up at an incoming wave during Nite Moves’ 1k ocean swim on Wednesday.

 

The massive south swell hitting the coast didn’t frighten away Nite Moves’ dedicated ocean swimmers on Wednesday, but it did wash away the buoy markers and made for an adventurous entry and exit for the 113 contestants.

Among them was UCSB’s men’s water polo team as the Gauchos came to a Nite Moves for the 10th straight year. UCSB head coach Wolf Wigo completed the swim along with 42 other players and coaches in the program.

“This was the best conditions ever really. A lot of fun,” Wigo said. “A couple of the guys went surfing before. We were going to do the stadiums over at City College but we couldn’t pass this up.”

That Wigo the head coach surfs himself helps the team’s cause in that department.

Event organizer Jake Clinton said the waves were the biggest he’s seen in Nite Moves’ 26-year history.

“Coming down here and looking at that and just seeing how my buoys are locked in the seaweed on the beach. And I know two are completely missing,” Clinton said “The one that is (still) out there at least we got to use as a marker but it was certainly the longest swim out in Nite Moves history.”

Without his normal course marked, Clinton had the swimmers head out to a different buoy (that was further out than normal) before returning back to the beach around his one orange buoy remaining. The hardest part was getting in and out of the powerful shore break.

Nite Moves Big Waves

A swimmer gets sucked over the falls while returning to shore.

 

The entry area was infested with seaweed that was thick in the water and on the beach.

The entry area was infested with seaweed that was thick in the water and on the beach.

The 5k run went off as planned but was noteworthy for featuring a season-high 269 runners. Tyler Hansen was the fastest runner with a time of 16 minutes and 15 seconds. Second-place finisher Ricky Ho came in at 17:35. Hansen’s performance checked in as the fifth-best time of 2014 at Nite Moves.

It was the season-ending night, the last of 18 Wednesdays at Leadbetter Beach Park.

Matt Organista, recent winner of the Santa Barbara Triathlon sprint course, recorded the fastest 5k (15:51) of 2014 on July 30.  Max Davis was the only other to break 16 minutes (15:57) this season doing so last week.

The fastest women’s 5k of the season was Dani Moreno, a UCSB runner from Downey. On July 12, Moreno’s 17:16 ended up being 1:08 faster than any other female runner throughout the summer.

Other season bests belong to Ben Brewer (11:27) and Olivia Smith (12:32) in the 1k ocean swim, and Dillon Nobbs (33:25) and Maria Wagner (38:47) in the aquathon(combined 1k swim/5k run). All season bests and results here.

The high surf is expected to begin dissipating on Thursday.

UCSB water polo players race up the beach to the finish line of the ocean swim.

UCSB water polo players race up the beach to the finish line of the ocean swim.

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