Coach Gerry Rodrigues started swimming in 1970 in Trinidad where he swam for the Caribbean island's national team. His ability and love of the sport brought him to Mission Viejo in 1980, eventually earning him an Athletic Scholarship at Pepperdine University.
As one of the initial members of Team Malibu Triathlon club in 1983, he started the Malibu Masters swim club, headed-up Southern California Aquatics, ran the first Masters club at The Sports Club LA, and currently runs the UCLA Masters swim program which he started in 1995. Gerry has been the recipient of the US Masters Coach of the Year and Southern Pacific Masters Coach of the Year honors.
As a multiple Masters world open water champion and national pool champion, together with scores of other open water victories, Coach Gerry has logged several thousand open water training and racing miles, including a 28.5 mile swim around Manhattan island. He recently broke the world masters record for the 800 meter freestyle in the 45-49 age group in December 2007,(8:52); is a member of the national record breaking 4 x 200 free mixed relay in the 160+ age group, and also broke the US Masters record for the 1-hour swim in the 45-49 age group (5,575 yards).
Coach Gerry owned SWIM Magazine, published Swimming World magazine, started swiminfo.com, and co-developed a DVD on open water swimming.
Open water bio:
Coach Gerry has been training in open water since 1971, yes, a lonnnnng time. He started in his native island, Trinidad, where he trained 3 days a week, 3 months a year in the salt for the island's yearly open water event.
He has competed in the island's 3000m event 11 times since 1974; winning it 8 times, while placing in the top 3 all 11 times.
With several hundred races under his belt, thousands of miles swum in oceans and lakes, multitudes of victories, national championships crowns and world championship titles, including a 28.5 mile swim around Manhattan Island, Coach Gerry is the library of knowledge on open water swimming. He has swam the 2-mile Hermosa to Manhattan pier to pier race every year since 1988, winning overall several times while never placing out of the top 10 overall.
On a local level, over the years Coach Gerry has won overall at: The La Jolla Roughwater swim, Seal Beach swims, Hermosa/Manhattan Pier, Oceanside, San Clemente, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Huntington Pier, Huntington beach, Malibu Pier, Zuma beach, Ventura beach, Pismo beach, Lake Berryessa, Lake Sonoma, and Santa Cruz Pier.
Coach Gerry believes in specific, focused, technical, and intense training. His motto of "less is more" resonates true to him. In his mid-forties and on limited, but specific training of 15,000 yards a week on 3-4 workouts, coach Gerry can still perform. Here are some of his recent times:
50 yd free - 23 sec;
100 yd free - 49 sec;
200 yd free - 1:46 (53 sec/100 pace);
500 yd free - 4:49 (58 sec/100 pace);
1000 yd free - 10 min (1 min/100 pace);
1650 yd free (approx 1 mile) - 16:50 (1:01/100 pace);
3000 yd free (approx 1.8 mile) - 31:20 (1:02/100 pace);
1 hour swim for distance - 5625 yards or approx 3.5 miles (1:04/100 pace).