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Open Water Swims

These are all the swims for the 2020 open water season for Pacific Masters Swimming.

Last Update 08/20/2020

This page will be updated if a venue changes or a race is cancelled due to the water level or quality.

This year the magic number is now 5. Your top 5 finishes count toward the 2020 open water points competition. Only open water swims longer than 500 meters will be considered for points.  Remember, if swims are cancelled or added then that number could be adjusted.

The results of each open water race will be posted on the open water results page.

The Open Water Points competition has two divisions for the two different types of suits. Here is the link to the rule: swim suit rules. Please review them before leaving for the open water swim. Please also note that no tape (spider tapes, bandages, duct tape, etc…) is allowed in either category.


  • Age Group determination: You will swim in the age group determined by your age as of December 31, 2020.
  • Swim Suits: Category 1 Long suits are allowed for both men and women in Open Water but can not contain clasps or zippers.  The swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulder nor below the ankles. USMS Rule 303.7.2

Only Open Water Points scored with Category One suits will count toward Swimmer of the Year.  For more details on the rules governing open water points see here.

Awards: Swimmers will receive special awards based on their place in their gender, age group, and category of their suit (1 or 2.) Typically 1st through 3rd places receive awards, but this can change. However, to be eligible for an award a swimmer must swim the minimum number of events (3) in their category. Swimmers who have yet to swim the minimum number of events will show their place in light red.

See the Individual Open Water Point Standings and Team Open Water Points Standings for 2020.


Saturday, May 16, 2020
Spring Lake
One Mile 
500 M (RCM)

The Spring Lake swim on May 16 has been cancelled. Dependent upon the park availability and the safety precautions to come, it may be rescheduled.

A one mile loop. Water temp is normally in the mid 60’s. There are some weeds. This swim is always very well run; they will have you out of there by 11:00 am, even if you stay for the awards. Parking is easy. Nice green lawn to sit on. Post event snacks provided.

Please note that only the 1 mile swim is eligible for open water points.

USMS Sanction TBD.

[ information ]  [ register ] 


Saturday, June 6, 2020
Lake Berryessa 
1 & 2 mile loops in a freshwater lake

The DAM Board approved the cancellation of the June 6 OW swims at Berryessa. Of course, it was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made in a safe, prudent, economic, and timely manner. The good news is we're quickly investigating possibilities for rescheduling this event.

Join us for the 38th Annual DAM Lake Berryessa Swim

Hosted by Davis Aquatic Masters (DAM)
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Steele Canyon Campground, near the junction of highways 128 and 121.  This venue features plenty of off-street parking and campsites available for the weekend. The water is clean, comfortable and it's again at its highest level in a decade, plus the weather is, more often than not, fine!

The Lake Berryessa Swim is one of the longest running open water swims in America. Join hundreds of other USMS swimmers for the 1-mile and/or 2-mile swim then party/picnic at the lake! One food truck will be onsite to satisfy your pre- & post-race cravings. Race day purchase and pickup.

Fees include swim cap, official Berryessa mug (Mugs guaranteed only for first 300 swimmers to register. Race day mugs subject to availability), post race refreshments & online race results.

USMS Sanction 380-W001.

Online registration: USMS (adult only)

For more race information contact:

Stuart Kahn, Race Director

information ]  [ register ] 


Saturday, June 13

5K and 10K
Sunday, June 14
1.2K and 2.5K 

Lake Del Valle CANCELLED

The 2020 Del Valle Open Festival, nestled in the Livermore Valley Wine country, begins on Saturday with a 5K/10K. The swims run at the same time. You have to pre-register for the 10K.  On Sunday, the 1.2K and the 2.5K will be held. There is clear cutoff times in the event info for all races.  If you’re new to open water swimming, try the 1.2K swim or the Just for Fun Division. Plenty of parking.  A great place to bring the kids:  they have a roped off swimming area.  Post event snacks provided. Plan post-race activities at one of 70 wineries within 10 miles of the lake.

USMS Sanction 380-W002.

The link for USMS Registration is:


Saturday, August 1: 46th Annual Roughwater 1 mile Swim
Sunday, August 2:  The Cruz Cruise 2 mile Swim

Santa Cruz Open Water Weekend CANCELLED

The Saturday 1 mile ocean swim goes around the Santa Cruz pier. The Sunday 2 mile ocean swim goes around the same pier, loops around the other side and comes back. The water is usually 58-61 degrees! Both are fun and very popular swims even if you’re numb. The Saturday swim is one of the bigger events and is started in two waves: under 40 years old and 40 years old and over. The Sunday swim is smaller and very low key; it is NOT for novice swimmers. 

For both swims bring lots of quarters for the street parking meters ($1.00/hour). Or walk a long way. You may want to bring a chair if you don’t like sitting on a sandy beach. On Saturday there is no post event food, but there are plenty of restaurants right there. On Sunday there will be plenty of warm beverages and snacks at the finish.

The Saturday swim starts at 11am and often the fog has lifted by then. The Sunday swim starts at 8:30am and is usually foggy. (Since the water is +/- 60 degrees it's important to stay warm: wear a thermal cap and ear plugs and don’t stop to look around while you are out there. Keep moving and have fun! 

USMS Sanction TBD 

[information]  [ Saturday and Sunday register ]

Saturday, August 15

40th Annual Donner Lake Open Water Swim CANCELLED
2.7 miles (SNM)

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Donner Lake Swim scheduled for August 15, 2020.  We were hoping to move forward with the race, but due to the many uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we do not feel it appropriate to continue with the race.  Our concerns include the safety and health of swimmers and volunteers related to COVID-19, lack of ability for our participants to train for the swim, and the possibility that our event might not be sanctioned or allowed by USMS, state, county or city officials.

To our 2019 swimmers who checked in on race day, your offer of early registration before regular registration will be carried forward to the 2021 Donner Lake Swim.  Later this year we will commence planning the 2021 race.

Thank you for your understanding of this cancellation.  We look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Donner Lake Swim.

Donner Lake Swim Committee
Sierra Nevada Masters Board of Directors

One of the longest swims of the season. The Donner Lake swim is a point-to-point 2.7 mile swim with expected water temperature of 65-68 degrees. Maximum number of swimmers allowed is 450. The race will start at 8:30 am. The course starts at the east end of the lake, near the Donner Memorial State Park, and finishes at the West End Beach. Swimmers are instructed to swim in the middle of the lake and are guided by volunteer kayaks patrolling the north and south perimeters of the swim course. The swim has a strictly enforced2 1⁄2 hour cut off time. The official cut off time is 11:00 am.

Free shuttle buses run between the start and the finish. Swimmers are given a plastic bag at the start to hold their sweats. It will be transported to the finish for you. 

If you are interested in purchasing any Donner Lake Open Water Swim merchandise please view the merchandise page.


 [information]  [Register]  [merchandise]

Sunday, September 13

Whiskeytown Lake CANCELLED
1 & 2 mile (RAD)   

Whiskeytown Lake is just outside Redding so plan to drive up the day before. This is a beautiful lake. There’s a nice shady picnic area and beach so bring the family. This event is in the early fall and the weather can be either chilly or hot. The lake is a bit cooler than Berryessa (think mid to high 60’s). If you plan to do both the 1- and 2-mile events, be prepared to feel a little cold at the start of the 2-mile. Post event snacks. 

There are no parking lot vending machines.

USMS Sanction TBD.

Registration Link 

Parking Pass 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Keller Cove – Pt Richmond, SF Bay CANCELLED

½-mile, 1-mile, 2-miles

This is the final event of the OW season; last chance to pile up those points!  Only SF Bay swim on the calendar, in protected cove at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline.  1/2, 1 and 2-mile distances. We are running the 1/2-mile swim first, as a separate event. Then to be followed (one hour later) by the 1-mile and 2-mile events run concurrently as in past years. Masters swimmers have their choice of: ½-mile only; ½ + 1-mile; 1-mile only; or 2-mile only.   Expected water temp 62 to 66 degrees.  Start and finish on a sandy beach with sweeping views of The City, Golden Gate, Angel Island, Mt. Tam and more!  Great spectator opportunities.  Hot shower on the beach!  Free parking.  Help us celebrate our 11th Anniversary of this benefit swim --- and finish the 2019 OW season with a flourish!

USMS Sanction TBD

[ information ]    [ register ] .

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