2024 Santa Cruz Open Water Weekend

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Saturday, August 17 - Sunday, August 18, 2024

USMS Sanction : 384-W004

Santa Cruz Masters & Santa Cruz Surf Life Saving Assn

Open Water Registration

Santa Cruz Surf Life Saving Assn

Registration Schedule

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Swimmer Registration Sat, Jun 1, 2024
12:00 PM
Fri, Aug 16, 2024
01:00 PM

49th Annual Roughwater 1 Mile Swim, Saturday, August 17

The CRUZ CRUISE 2 Mile Swim, Sunday, August 18

HOSTS: Santa Cruz Masters, Santa Cruz Surf Life Saving Association, and the City of Santa Cruz

ELIGIBILITY:  Entrants under 18 years of age may only enter the 1 Mile Roughwater Swim, not the Cruz Cruise 2 mile. 2 Mile Cruz Cruise entrants must be at least 18 years old. All 18+ swimmers must be USMS registered. Proof of USMS registration is mandatory. This swim is sanctioned by Pacific Masters Swimming and conducted under USMS and Pacific Masters Open Water guidelines. Under 18 entrants must have parent signature.   UNDER-18 ENTRANTS MUST ENTER THROUGH A SEPARATE PATH; CLICK HERE FOR THE UNDER-18 ONLINE ENTRY PATH.

ENTRIES: Online entries only.

  • Online entry closes Friday, August 16, 1pm. Paper entry allowed on race day.
  • Online entry fee for Roughwater Swim is $55 per person if registered by June 30.  Fee is $60 per person if received by August 16, 1pm. Race day registration is $70.00. For Roughwater Swim please list your time for a 1 mile swim (or estimate if you do not have a time). Waves for RW swim will be determined based on this seed time. No time entered will put you in the last wave.
  • Online entry fee for Cruz Cruise Swim is $65 per person if registered by June 30.  Fee is $70 per person if received by Friday, August 16, 1pm. Race day registration is $80.
  • Online entry fee for both swims is $110 per person if received by Friday, August 16, 1pm.
  • If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from “SC Masters Aquatics”.
  • One event USMS registration (OEVT) is available for those not registered with USMS: $20 for OEVT registration. This charge is in addition to the regular entry fee.

ADD AN EVENT:  If you have previously entered the 1-Mile Swim or the 2-Mile Swim, and now you would like to ADD the other race to that entry, then click "Add to My Previous Entry"


Under 18 Swimmers Please Click Here to Register

DIVISIONS:  The usual USMS divisions: 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, etc., for both male and female using Category 1 swimsuits.  For  Category 2 wet suit division, also 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, etc.  For both the Roughwater and the CRUZ CRUISE, PLEASE INDICATE ON ENTRY FORM IF WEARING A WETSUIT.  See Pacific Masters Open Water website for swimsuit Category information.

Entrants wearing wetsuits will be entered into Category 2 division for competition and awards.  Awards given only to Category 1 division for Roughwater Swim, not to Category 2 entrants.  

SAFETY:  Safety services provided by the Santa Cruz City Beach Lifeguard Service and Santa Cruz Surf Life Saving Association. All contestants are required to wear a brightly colored swim cap.  Caps will be provided for the 1 Mile Roughwater.  Cut-off time for the 1 Mile Roughwater is 1 hour. Cut off time for the 2 Mile Cruz Cruise is 2 hours.  No personal escorts are permitted.    Insulated swim caps permitted.  No other swim aids allowed. Contestants in wetsuits and other defined swimwear such as rashguards are eligible for  PacMasters points or awards in their respective Category 2.

Expected water temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15-16 Celsius).  


  • For the Roughwater on August 17, check-in begins at 9:30 am, closes at 10:45 am.  Race starts at 11:00 a.m. 
  • Registration for the Roughwater is at Lifeguard Tower #1 in front of the Dream Inn, west side of the pier. 
  • For the CRUZ CRUISE on August 18, check-in begins at 7:00 am and closes at 8:00 am.  Race start at 8:30am (fog dependent). 
  • Registration for the CRUZ CRUISE is to the immediate East side of the pier, on the beach in front of the Ideal Restaurant.


For the 1 Mile ROUGHWATER:  Beach start, contestants receive a siren start, enter the ocean at Lifeguard Tower #3 on the east side of the Santa Cruz pier, swim parallel to the pier, around the end, then straight to the finish in front of the Dream Inn on the west side of the pier. Wave starts will be based on seed time submitted on entry form.

For the 2 Mile CRUZ CRUISE:  Beach start, contestants start and finish just to the left, (east), of the Santa Cruz pier. Swim parallel to the pier to the first buoy off the end of the pier. Right shoulder turn around the buoy, then swim parallel with the pier, (now on the west side), towards shore. Swim to the turn buoy anchored next to Lifeguard HQ. Left shoulder turn and swim to the next turn buoy. Left shoulder turn and head directly to the original buoy anchored off the end of the pier. Left shoulder turn will have you swimming parallel with the pier on the east side, heading directly toward the finish. Finish with run up the beach through finishing arch. 

EQUIPMENT:  Use of fins, pull buoys, or other swimming devices are prohibited. Soft hand paddles may be used as prosthesis only if they do not present a safety hazard to other swimmers. Race director shall have final decision.

Roughwater Swim: medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each gender and each age group for Category 1 swimmers only. No awards for Category 2 swimmers. Awards for under 18 (non-Masters) age groups: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-17, 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each gender and each age group. 
Cruz Cruise: awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each gender and each age group for Category 1 swimmers. Awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each gender for Category 2 swimmers. 

Direct questions to:

Race Director Ned Hearn:  nedster@comcast.net  or 831-535-3261

Scott Patterson:  scott_patterson@comcast.net   831-706-7950
Joel Wilson:  openwatr@got.net   831-425-5762

• From Highway 1 North, come into town on Highway 1/Mission St. Continue west along Mission for 0.6 miles. Turn right onto Bay Ave. for 0.9 miles. Find parking in the vicinity of the Dream Inn and/or Santa Cruz Municipal Pier. 

• From Highway 17, continue along Ocean Street as the freeway ends at the top of Ocean Street.  Go 0.7 mile to Soquel Avenue. Turn right onto Soquel Avenue, go 0.3 mile over the bridge to Front Street. Turn left onto Front Street, go south 0.6 mile along Front Street until it curves to the right and meets the intersections of Washington St. and Center St.  Go around the round-a-bout, heading South, to the end of Center Street.  Pass around the next round-a-bout to either on-street parking or the Santa Cruz Pier.

PARKING:  Various kinds of parking available in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz Pier. Long term parking available on the pier and metered parking available close to the pier. Parking meters accept payment through the Parkmobile app.



One-Mile Course

Two-Mile Course


Meet Course:

Note: If paying by credit card, your credit card statement will reflect a charge from "SC MASTERS AQUATICS."