Athlete Event Letter 2013

This is the Athlete letter for TikiSwim3. There have been some changes for 2013 so please review the letter.

TikiSwim3 Athlete’s Guide



Each year, we start this letter the same way: Thank you for supporting the Tiki Swim!! We hope our one of a kind ocean swim will become a “must do” event and one that makes the local swimming and triathlon community proud.

The Tiki Swim is an open water ocean swim consisting of two distances. They are 2.4 miles and 1.2 miles and while they share the same finish line, they start in two different areas. Both distances have a mass start surf entry but finish in the protected waters of the Oceanside Harbor.

The 2.4 mile event starts at 7:30 near the Oceanside Pier while the 1.2 mile event starts at 8:00 on the beach across from the harbor boat launch ramps.

Weather Underground is forecasting 78 and sunny for Sunday with 1-2 foot surf and a water temp of 68-70 degrees. That is about as perfect as it can be!!



You will need a picture ID to pick up your packet. For minors please have a parent to sign your waiver.

We will have early packet pick up Saturday 9/28 from 1:00 to 4:00pm. This will also be the last opportunity to register, IF the event is not sold out, so if you know anyone on the fence please let them know. The location for packet pick up, Saturday only, is just north of the boat launch ramps in the Oceanside Harbor next to the shuttle bus stop.

We will have a limited number of TikiSwim3 hoodies on sale for $25.00 at the registration area.

Your athlete packet will contain a timing chip, strap and a numbered swim cap identifying which distance you are swimming.  For those doing the 2.4 distance swim, we will have “recycled mesh onion” bags to be used for race day gear check that you can pick up race day at the pier.  You can use these, or your own bag to make sure you have clean clothes to change into at the finish. We will have a designated drop location at the registration area for dry gear at the finish.

Race Day packet pick up will be on the south side of the Oceanside Pier at the picnic area starting at  6:00 am. BOTH DISTANCES WILL PICK UP THEIR PACKETS HERE ON RACE DAY. IF YOU ARE DOING THE 1.2 MILE SWIM, YOU WILL TAKE THE SHUTTLE BUS TO THE START.

2.4 Mile Swim


The 2.4 mile swim starts at 7:30am from the beach south of the Oceanside Pier. Athletes will swim out to the first buoy turn right and swim towards the harbor keeping all course buoys are your right shoulder.   TIP: in order to get to the first buoy promptly and not off course, do not look at or swim towards the pier. The first buoy is several hundred yards south of the pier and sighting off the pier will draw you in that direction. There are approximately 13 buoys creating the course. There will be orange buoys in the ocean portion and fluorescent green buoys in the harbor. There will be one triangle buoy where the 1.2 mile swim course merges onto the 2.4 course. Additionally, in the vicinity of this triangle buoy will be the aid station stocked with Hammer Nutrition and Hydration products.. We have made a change from previous years to the swim course. Once you enter the harbor, the swim lane for both the 2.4 and 1.2 courses will be created by keeping the green buoys to your left and the harbor structure on the right. SWIMMERS WILL NOT NEED TO GO AROUND ANY BUOYS IN THE HARBOR.

There is a 2 hour and 20 minute course cut off for the 2.4 mile swim.

1.2 Mile Swim


The 1.2 mile swim starts at 8:00 from the beach across from the boat ramp. ATHLETES PARTICIPATING IN THE 1.2 MILE SWIM NEED TO CATCH THE SHUTTLE LEAVING THE PIER AT 7:15 OR YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

If you were at packet pickup on Saturday you can park at one of the harbor lots (see Parking) and walk down to the start, versus having to go to the pier.

The 1.2 mile swim will start at 8:00 and too will be a mass start. There will be a triangle buoy offshore that athletes will swim to and then make right turn merging on to the same course as the 2.4 mile swimmers. The 1.2 mile course also closes at 9:50, so athletes participating in the 1.2 mile swim will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete their swim.

Course support


We will have one man outrigger canoes provided by the Oceanside Outrigger Canoe Club on course as well as numerous Oceanside Lifeguards. The outriggers are there primarily to keep you on course, so if one of them is giving you instruction follow it. They are there for your benefit.

Aid Station


Again, there will be one triangle buoy on the course. This buoy will be used to indicate the approximate location of the “aid station” as well as where the 1.2 mile swimmers will be merging on to the course. The aid station consists of a 6 man outrigger canoe where they will have squeeze bottles with Hammer Nutrition Heed, fresh water and Hammer Gel. There will be Huckleberry, Tropical and Raspberry.

Remember that there will be numerous lifeguards stationed throughout the course and if at any time you need a break you can stop and hold onto a rescue board as long as you are not progressing down the course.

The Finish


Both swims will finish at the boat launch ramps located inside the Oceanside Harbor. There will be a short run up the ramp to the actual finish mat. We will have volunteers in the water to help you get to your feet.

When you finish please be prepared for a volunteer to ask for your race number and distance swam. Also at the finish you will receive your finisher’s medal, trucker hat, lei and a big hug. You will be able to get your checked bag, using your swim cap and can use the showers located on the beach side of the parking lot just north of the bathrooms.

All swimmers receive a complimentary breakfast at the far north end of the expo area. There are additional breakfasts available for a donation. SAVE YOUR SWIMCAP. YOU WILL USE THIS AS YOUR TICKET FOR THE PANCAKE BREAKFAST AND TO PICK UP GOODIE AND GEAR BAGS.

Awards will start at approximately 10:00 at the finish line area. There are for overall and a/g divisions for both swims and traditional as well as wetsuit swimmers.

Parking and logistics


Unless you are one of the 1.2 mile swimmers that came to early packet pick up, you will most likely want to park near the Oceanside Pier located at Pacific Street and Pier View Way. There is a paid parking lot, $5.00, directly across from the pier.  There is free parking at the Oceanside Transit Center located just south of Mission Rd on Topeka. This is about a 5 block walk to the pier.

We will have dedicated shuttle buses first thing in the morning for transporting the 1.2 mile swimmers to their start and family and friends to the harbor for the finish. After that there will be FREE shuttle busses running all day from the boat launch area back to the Oceanside Transit Center.

The above parking and shuttle information is pertinent for Saturday also if you are coming for early packet pick up.

The Oceanside Transit Center is located at 235 South Tremont 92054

The Oceanside Pier is located at 301 N Strand 92054

Parking near pier race morning

Parking near pier race morning


Harbor parking race morning

Harbor parking race morning

The End


As we look over the athletes list there are so many names we recognize, and new acquaintances to make, that it truly is an honor to be hosting you. I hope we exceed your expectations and that we will have the pleasure of seeing you, and maybe a couple more friends, in 2014.

If this is your first time doing the distances, CONGRATULATIONS, you’re gonna have a blast. If this is a training swim for a future Ironman, we wish you the best on your next goal and I will be there to cheer on IMAZ athletes.

Also, being part of the Oceanside Harbor Days festival really makes for a one of a kind “after event” so please stick around and enjoy all that Harbor Days has to offer.

Lastly, the Tiki Swim literally does not happen without our sponsors. In our infancy they are proving invaluable to our ability to financially put on the event. PLEASE, if you ever have need to conduct business in their particular segment, and we have everything from sky diving to building, let them know you appreciate their support for the Tiki Swim and give them your business when possible.

Until next year, thank you, please thank a volunteer  and most importantly, have fun. Any other way and it’s just not worth doing!!


Thank you. Brian and John