SB’s Ocean Swimmer of the Year competition underway

Semana Nautica - Ocean Swimming

The Semana Nautica Ocean Swimmer of the Year is a point series based on seven events over the next two weeks. (Presidio Sports Photo)

As the annual Semana Nautica sports festival arrives in Santa Barbara, so does the Ocean Swimmer of the Year competition that stretches over two weeks and seven races.

The Santa Barbara Semana Nautica Association will recognize the top male and female ocean swimming athlete based on a points system connecting the various ocean-swimming events. The reigning Ocean Swimmers of the Year are Ben Brewer and Olivia Smith.

To qualify for the award, swimmers will have to finish in each of the following ocean swim races:

1) Semana Nautica 1-mile ocean swim (July 11)
2) one of the two Reef & Run 1-mile ocean swims (July 2 and July 9)
3) one of the two Nite Moves 1k ocean swims (July 1 and July 8)
4) either the 3-mile ocean swim (July 12) or the 6-mile ocean swim (July 5).

For each of these swims, points will be allocated equal to the participant’s overall finishing place in his/her gender. Swimmers who are unable to compete in the 3 mile or the 6 mile ocean swims will be considered for the award but will be handicapped by an additional 40 points added to their total. If a participant swims in more than one of the weekly Nite Moves or Reef & Run qualifying events, the best finish will be used for consideration.

This year’s winners will receive a free entry for the final Reef & Run boat to beach swim in August and will be recognized at the conclusion of that swim race. Both will also be memorialized with his and her names on a plaque at the East Beach Bath House.