Open Water
Orinda Aquatics – Open Water 2018


Do the walls of the pool have you feeling CLAUSTROPHOBIC?!


Never fear, as Summer is getting closer, its time to excited for a series of Open Water Swimming Opportunities! Swimmers will need to enter themselves for the event, unless otherwise indicated. There will be carpooling, snacks and drinks provided, so if you plan to attend, please RSVP to percinlaw@att.netso plans can be made appropriately. 

Here are the events on calendar: 

Lake Del Valle Open Water Festival. 

June 10, 2018

1.2k and 2.5k

Meet conflict: WCAB CBA (Junior Group) – talk to coaches if you would like to attend.


(Note: 5k and 10k races are offered on Saturday, however many Senior Group swimmers are taking the ACT/SAT on that day, so the team event will be on June 10.)

Registration for USA Swimming members is OPEN:

If parent’s want to join in the fun, they can enter here:

Please RSVP to for Carpool information!!


San Francisco Aquatic Park OA Open Water Training.  

Possible dates are July 1st      

Meet conflict - none

There is no registration for this event. 

We will swim around the break water and back into aquatic park.  We will have paddleboard/ kayak safety crew. This is a good opportunity to adapt to colder water in anticipation for the Tiburon Mile and Tahoe swims. After the swim we will enjoy brunch in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf (swimmers need to bring money). 

Please RSVP to percinlaw@att.netfor Carpool information!!



Tiburon Mile

August 19, 2018

Meet conflict - none


Registration is open:

We will have a team entry and therefore will be eligible for the team award!  

Make sure to put in your registration that you are with OA - if we have 10 or more swimmers, we will get a 15% team discount – that goes for parents who register to swim as well!

Please RSVP to percinlaw@att.netfor Carpool information - and hot chocolate!!



2ndAnnual OA Open Water Team Tahoe Swim Weekend.  

August 24-26, 2018

Meet conflict - none


(Note: Due to the nature of the swims, this activity is available for Senior and college swimmers only.) 

Swimmers will stay with the Percin’s at their house in Truckee (or in the backyard, weather depending).  We will take a passenger van (or two?) and provide food (except food on the road).  Prorated costs will be determined based on expenses and number of swimmers participating, at the end of the trip – est. $125-$150 per swimmer.  

Saturday:  Swimmers must register for Big Blue Adventure’s Tahoe Race (Sugar Pine Point State Park, Lake Tahoe).  USE DISCOUNT CODE: OAS1518 to save 15%.  *Big Blue Adventures is CAPPING the swimming onlyevents at only 150 this year – so if you know you are going, you should sign up sooner, rather than later! Team activity Saturday afternoon: to be determined (bringing hiking shoes). 

Sunday: This year the second race will be Sunday morning at Sand Harbor (Lake Tahoe).  This one-mile swim is probably our favorite open water swim, with beautiful scenery – and it hugs the boulder lined shore (so we will not need as many safety crew, and parents that want to come watch will have a better vantage).  

After the race we will have brunch at Sand Harbor and we will be doing some boating. 

Vans will head home for return to Moraga around 9:00 p.m..  

Please RSVP to!!

2017 Open Water Swims

Big Blue Adventures' Lake Tahoe Open Water

19 Orinda Aquatics Open Water Swimmers traveled to Tahoe/Truckee from August 25-27, 2017, for a fun-filled weekend.

The swimmers represented OA well on the podium after in the Big Blue Adventures’ Lake Tahoe Open Water Races:

Men’s 1.2 Mile Non-Wetsuit: Jack Larsen placed 2nd with a time of 23:39.

Women’s 1.2 Mile Non-Wetsuit: OA Swept the podium within 16 seconds of each other: 1st place: Anna Mills, 2nd place Carla Leone, and 3rd place Maya Supran.  

2.4 Mile Non-Wetsuit: Sean Percin took 1st place overall with a time of 49.45, and keeping it in the family, Brittany Percin took 2nd place overall with a time of 53.12.  

After a night under the stars, Sunday morning, 19 swimmers and several parent volunteers descended on Donner Lake for the 2.7 mile Private Donner Lake Crossing.  All 19 swimmers conquered Donner Lake without wetsuits – with some racing the crossing, and others using it as an opportunity to practice drafting off each other, sight-seeing, socializing, or racing “Phoenix” (the dog) to the other side.  Notably, Jack Larsen raced for a 1:01 finish, followed by Lizzie Follmer (@ 1:07).  

August 2011:
OA Master’s swimmer swimming the English Channel! 
In an email, she says, “I just wanted to touch base with you to say thank you again for all of your encouragement and support.  I am leaving a week from Wednesday (August 3rd) and my window of opportunity opens August 7-12.  I will proudly wear my OA cap.  Think good thoughts for me to have warm water and calm seas for my crossing.  There is nothing left for me to do except eat, sleep and swim a bit... and mentally prepare for success.  This has been an amazing journey and I am grateful for your support.  This has been a time of great joy in my life.”  All the best, Ranie;
See Ranie Pearce’s blog at:


General Information on Open Water Competition:

Many people are excited to get involved in Open Water swimming, either for a new twist on training or to take advantage of the expanding competitive opportunities. There are some potential risks and hazards, but with thoughtful planning in advance, Open Water swimming can open up whole new worlds for both athletes and coaches.  Let’s look at some of the things you, as a coach, must do in order to plan Open Water training or an Open Water event. First, identify the factors that you will be dealing with to eliminate unforeseen risks. The known factors are age, experience, physical ability and athlete to supervisor ratio. Plan an experience that is appropriate for your athletes and staff!

The need for efficiently organized safe swims is imperative. The swim, either for training or competition, may follow several different course types:

  1. Parallel to a shore
  2. To or around a fixed point or landmark such as a rock, island or pier
  3. Around a closed course marked by buoys
  4. Point to point

Direct supervision, adequate coach to swimmer ratio and thorough instruction are key elements in open water swimming. If you are ill-prepared, you could find yourself and your athletes in trouble. Plan how you will account for every swimmer who enters the water. Make sure that you have enough escort craft, with you for the size of your group. For example, you may have three kayaks, one in the lead, one tailing and one to respond to emergencies. If you have to stop for one athlete, you do not want to leave the others unattended. Develop clear signals for athletes to let you know if they need assistance. Also develop signals to let the athletes know that they should look up or stop.

Be familiar with water conditions such as temperature, water clarity, waves and currents. Be aware and warn the swimmers of any natural or manmade hazards such as rocks, piers and submerged objects. Monitor weather conditions for any possible storms or abrupt temperature changes. Be prepared to terminate the swim at the first sign of foul weather.

It is also important that swimmers be prepared and physically able to complete the swim distance. Your athletes might be able to handle the distance going out, but might struggle coming back. Swimmers should complete several short swims in controlled areas before attempting a longer more challenging swim. Some swimmers may have very real fears of swimming in open water and may need to be gradually encouraged.

In addition coaches need to be well prepared to deal with potential hypothermia, dehydration and deep water rescue. In spite of the additional risks encountered outside of a pool, open water swimming provides great training and diversion from swimming laps in the pool. Proper planning can reduce or eliminate these risks.

 Open Water Meet Safety

  1. Define the course with a clearly marked start area, turn markers and finish line
  2. Design the course to minimize confusion and avoid head-on traffic patterns
  3. Eliminate changes in course direction where the course is likely to be congested, such as at the start
  4. Seek the advice of local experts such as the Beach Patrol or Parks Department, the Red Cross, the USA Swimming Local Swim Committee (LSC), the Coast Guard and the Harbormaster.
  5. Have a clear emergency action plan and medical evacuation plan
  6. Set up safety monitor stations with first aid supplies and emergency signaling devices
  7. Be prepared to cancel the event in case of inclement weather
  8. Account for every participant who enters and exits the water
  9. Have a public briefing to go over rules and procedures with all participants
  10. Line up escort and pilot boats

For additional information on open water meet safety, consult the USA Swimming Open Water Meet Manager’s Guide.