La Jolla Rough Water Swim

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La Jolla Rough Water Swim
La Jolla Cove
Start of the La Jolla Rough Water Swim
Start of the La Jolla Rough Water Swim
Swimmers of the Gatorman of the annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim
La Jolla Rough Water Swim is a renowned open water swim held in the La Jolla Cove, north of San Diego in California, USA in early September. The multi-race event, including the prestigious 3-mile Gatorman race, is billed as America’s premier rough water swimming competition and has been a summertime tradition in the La Jolla Cove since 1916.

The La Jolla Rough Water Swim attracts over 2,000 swimmers annually, ranging in age from 5 to 85 years old. The course has changed a bit over the years but today’s triangular courses and the natural arena like characteristics of the La Jolla Cove offer spectators a great view of the entire event. It is one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims.

History

The first La Jolla Rough Water Swim was held in 1916 when it was known as the La Jolla Rough Water Race or the Biological Pier Swim and won by Charles “Chubby” Shields in 48 minutes. The swim was not held again until 1923, but it officially became an annual event beginning in 1931. Swims over the years were cancelled due to sponsorship changes (1935), a polio scare (1948) and shark sightings (1959), but for the most part, the La Jolla Rough Water Swim has stayed consistent over its history.

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