TikiSwim4 Athlete Letter



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 the low 70’s and sunny for Sunday with 2-3 foot surf and a water temp of 68-70 degrees. Pretty darn good conditions!



TIKISWIM4 is sold out and there will not be race day registration.

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

Packet pickup will be  Saturday 9/28 from 1:00 to 4:00pm. The location for packet pick up is just north of the boat launch ramps in the Oceanside Harbor next to the shuttle bus stop. Please review the parking section later in this letter as it is applicable for Saturday also.

If you purchased a hoodie you can pick it up then. We will have a limited number of TikiSwim4 hoodies and caps on sale at the registration area.

Your athlete packet will contain a timing chip, strap and a numbered swim cap identifying which distance you are swimming. We will also have wristbands that must be worn during the swim – only finishers with a wristband will be allowed to go through the finish chute and receive their goodies.

Race Day begins on the south side of the Oceanside Pier near the Band Shell starting at  6:00 am. Please have your race number marked on your hand before heading to the start. For those doing the 2.4 distance swim, we will have “recycled mesh onion” bags to be used for race day gear check 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. 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 for or swim towards the pier. The first buoy is several hundred yards south of the pier and sighting off the pier will lead you off course

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. 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 MUST WALK TO THE START.

1.2 mile swimmers can park at one of the harbor lots (see the second photo in the parking section) and walk down to the start, versus having to go to the pier.

The 1.2 mile swim will start at 8:00 and 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.

On Water 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.

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.

NEW THIS YEAR: there will be separate wetsuit and traditional finish lines. The finish volunteers will make sure you hit the right line.

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 will receive a ticket for a complimentary breakfast. We will have breakfast burritos, Aacai Bowls and the Oceanside Firefighters Association will be offering a hot pancake breakfast. You will be able to purchase additional pancake breakfasts with a donation to the Oceanside Firefighters Association.



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.

New for this year: We will be going three deep with awards.

Parking and logistics


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 shuttle busses go back to transit center not the pay lot, so you will have to walk back a couple blocks to your car.

The above parking and shuttle information is pertinent for Saturday also when you come for 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. It truly is an honor to be hosting such an amazing group!

We have athletes participating from 15 different states and four countries besides the US. Additionally, there is a group of young swimmers that recently set a relay record for the Catalina/ Long Beach crossing at 14 years of age.

We have 20 swimmers 16 or under doing the 1.2 mile swim and 17 doing the 2.4 mile swim. Our most experienced swimmer is 77.

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.

The Tiki Swim would like to thank our sponsors. If you ever have need to conduct business in their particular segment let them know you appreciate their support for the Tiki Swim and give them your business when possible.

Lastly, our goal is to exceed all of your expectations and make this an event that you will want to do again and again. It does not happen without our volunteers. Please, thank them. We need to also thank the Oceanside Outrigger and Canoe Club, the Oceanside Swim Club, the Triathlon Club of San Diego the city and staff of the Oceanside Lifeguards and Harbor Police and all of our amazing friends who put the Aloha in the Tiki Swim!.


Thank you.

Brian Long, John Hill and Patti Stockalper