Most of my weekend, as it is wont to do, revolved around the beach. I started out Saturday with a trip down to Pismo to watch my swim buddy Kelly compete in a WSA Surf Contest. This organization has competitions all up and down the coast and this would be her first foray into competitive surfing. I met her on the pier around 11 and found out that her heat had been pushed way back due to a fog delay in the early morning. We capitalized on this by getting in the water early and surfing a few waves as warm up. I took my bodyboard and fins, she brought her short board. Because of the contest the waves outside the pier were really crowded with other competitors and those that just wanted to surf. We both caught some waves although I probably bailed out of just as many as I caught so as to not cut someone else off who was trying to take the same wave.

After a half hour in the water we got out so she could get her colored rash guard that the judges would use for scoring the heats. I ran back to my truck to grab my phone and put pants back on. We met on the pier one more time and I took her backpack so she could run down to the beach and get to work. In the meantime I stayed on the pier to get some shots of the action from above.

The event format consisted of a 15 minute heat that was a final. She had 3 other girls to contend with. Two of them totally ripped and were way out of her league… hell they were way better than a good majority of the guys I saw out there in other heats. She had a shot at the girl in the blue rashguard though. By my count I thought she would be 3rd out of 4 but it’d be close depending on what the judges thought.

After her heat Kelly came back up on the pier super stoked. She had a ton of fun in her first contest, I’m glad she decided to go ahead and do it after thinking about it for a while. She went to her car to get dressed and put her board away and when she got back they were starting on awards. She ended up getting a rad trophy for 4th place and scoring points in the series. I think she’s going to go out to a few more of these as the season goes on!

On Sunday I drove out to Avila for the usual Sunday swim. We had a pretty decent crowd out there and it started as a really nice day with next to no wind and clear skies. No one had much of a plan and we opted to just do the triangle in a counterclockwise direction. Niel said the water was 60 degrees but I’ve come to believe he has the world’s most optimistic thermometer. It felt more like 58 maybe, cold enough that it sucked to get in but didn’t stay all that cold over time.

We got in on the left side of the pier and swam even with the buoy line. Once regrouped we swam under the pier and out to the end of the buoy line to the creek. There was a handful of people watching us swim under from up on the pier, that’s always kind of fun. The swim out to the creek was rougher than anticipated. The chop was coming over our left side making it hard to sneak in a breath. Once we took a break at the buoy and turned for the tip of the pier it got even worse because now we were moving headlong into it. I sort of like it though, I haven’t had a chance to do that much swimming in water that choppy in a while.

We took a long pause at the tip of the pier while we waited for everyone to catch up. At this point the fog was really coming in hard from down by the point. Oftentimes we luck out in Avila and get bypassed completely by the fog but on Sunday… not so much. Based on the speed it was coming in we were pretty sure we could finish our planned swimming without worrying about major loss of visibility on our course.

We made our way to the far buoy… well some of us did anyways… we scattered out a bit with some swimmers aiming for the wrong buoys. Whoops! We all regrouped eventually and once we spotted Sylvia who was doing her own thing we got back to swimming. The last leg was just to the pier and then a right hand turn back to the beach. I waited and waited for a wave or two to come in so I could bodysurf something back to the beach but it just wasn’t happening. Oh well. By the time I got back to my chair and was toweling off the pier was busy disappearing into the fog. It was coming in thick and it was looking like it wasn’t going to continue to be such a good beach day. After changing and chatting for a bit I split in search of sunshine. I’ll be back swimming in Avila on Wednesday, and in the pool tomorrow!

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