Open Water La Cruce May 27 & Berryessa June 3

Local Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters swimmers raced with great success in two recent open water swims in the Gulf of Mexico near Cancun and at Lake Berryessa in northern California.

La Cruce, Cancun Mexico  —  May 27, 2017

Christine and Peter Oliver enjoy the Cancun beach after the El Cruce 10K swim.

Rather than sitting on the beautiful Mexican beaches of Cancun and enjoying the warm aqua colored water, the husband-wife duo, Peter and Christine Oliver joined over 600 swimmers in the annual El Cruce 10K on May 27.  The six mile swim, started from the beach in Cancun to the finish line on the island of Isla Mujeras.

The popular ocean swim attracts many swimmers from Mexico and the United States.  Swimmers must petition to swim with race with verification from coaches that the participants have trained adequately and will be able to safely complete the distance.

For the 2017 race, the wind was strong and the ocean was rough with three to four foot swells.  Without guiding buoys or leading boats along the course, navigation was difficult.  With the rough seas, planned water stations were not available.

Both TCAM swimmers had outstanding swims and completed the long distance for the first time.

Peter finished in 2:38:35 to place first in the 55-59 age division.  Christine crossed the finish line in 3:16:04, placing sixth in the 50-54.

Berryessa Lake Swims  —  June 3, 2017

TCAM swimmers, Greg Jacobus, 66, Patti Philpott, 47, Christine Oliver, 54 and Peter Oliver relax after the Berryessa swims.

With a full lake under sunny skies, calm water and no wind, over 500 swimmers raced in the 500 yard to two mile events at Lake Berryessa on June 3.

Multiple waves of swimmers based upon age and sex, lined up on the beach for the start of the two mile race.  As each wave moved to the deep water starting line, a mass of swimmers took off around the triangular course at 5 minute intervals.

Peter Oliver, 59 exited the water first for the TCAM swimmers.  He crossed the line in 50:39.55.  His time placed him 5th in the 55-59.

Patti Philpott, 47 followed closely by Christine Oliver, 54 two minutes later finished in 1:00:14 and 1:01:57 respectively.

Philpott placed 7th in the 45-49 division.  In the closely contested age division, Philpott was only one second behind the 6th place finisher and 13 seconds after the 5th.

Christine Oliver placed 17th in the competitive 50-54 division.

Racing in the 65-69 group, Greg Jacobus, 66 finished in 6th place with a time of 1:11:37.

Joan Turner, 56 swam 1:22:22 to place 15th in the 55-59.

Patti Philpott, 47 works on her open water technique at a recent TCAM practice.

With less than a 20 minute recovery, the swimmers lined up for the one mile race.

In the shorter race, Philpott was 5th with 30:51:80, Peter Oliver raced to 7th with 27:27.35, Jacobus 8th with 36:13.90, Christine Oliver 14th with 31:14.45 and Turner was 18th with 49:54.50 in their respective age divisions.

The Pacific Masters open water season continues through September.  Swimmers placing in the top ten in their divisions accrue points which are totaled at the end of the season.  Top five age group awards are given to the winners.

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