Castaic Lake chosen as new host for Open Water Nationals

  13 Jared Anderson | December 31st, 2013 | Featured, National, News, Open Water

Castaic Lake in southern California will be the new host for Open Water Nationals, USA Swimming announced today after making the decision last week to move the event away from Wrightsville Beach, the original host.

Wrightsville was nixed after tidal changes caused a safety concern. It would have been one of the first saltwater venues for nationals in several years. Castaic Lake will provide another freshwater event, which will take place June 13 and 15, 2014. The lake is near the town of Castaic, north of Los Angeles.

Castaic Lake hosted this meet last year as well, and faced a splash of drama when a buoy anchor came loose mid-race, prompting a protest of the official results.

Open Water Nationals will serve as a selection meet for a multitude of international competitions and national teams including the following:

  • Open Water Pan Pacific Championships Team
  • Open Water Junior Pan Pacific Championships Team
  • FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Team
  • USA Swimming Open Water National Team
  • USA Swimming Open Water National Junior Team

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13 Comments on "Castaic Lake chosen as new host for Open Water Nationals"

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2 years 9 months ago

So much for keeping it close to the originally chosen host site.

2 years 9 months ago

Four laps around a lake or in a rowing lagoon can hardly be considered open water…
They might as well just take the lane lines out of a pool and have it there.

2 years 9 months ago

A future world champs is going to be on a rowing course. In South Korea saw a Hyundai shipbuilding dry dock which at 200 gft long would hsve been a great course to watch with large stands. In Canada at world Jrs at Welland and it was in old part of canal.

2 years 9 months ago

I agree. Our kids swim in turbulent ocean as well as calm and thats what makes it interesting.

2 years 9 months ago

i guess this is a big “F-U” to all the folks in north carolina who worked so hard to bring the event to their area. is usa-swimming going to reimburse the area for lost revenue? i am sure someone is thinking of a punitive damages lawsuit which could be filed.

2 years 9 months ago

My kids have swum open water events in lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and yes, even in a pool with the lanelines removed and bouys at each corner (at Southern Zones). Salt water swims make it tougher for spectators but I think they still preferred swimming those than in lakes or pools. Having said that, there are only so many trips I can afford and moving the Nationals from North Carolina to California makes it cost-prohibitive, just the same as last year.

2 years 9 months ago

Castaic Lake was a wonderful venue for OW Nationals last year…except for:
1) The buoys moving all over the place
2) The canyon fire at the end of the 10K which led to a haze of smoke on the course for the next day; and the helicopters removing the top foot of (warm) water from the lake–leaving the 5K in realy cold water–after having practiced in moderate water for four days
3) And the price of entry into the park being $15 cash each day
4) Overhearing a USA Swimming staffer comment that they were not interested in doing apparel for the meet, or providing support to the local team for apparel production or providing any other incentives for swimmers that attend the meet
5) Oh, and the expense of getting there from the east coast–it was a $1800 four day event for our swimmer, of which the LSC reimbursed $450 for airfare.

Castaic Lake was an easy answer–go back and do it all over again in the same place as last year. We went to the west coast last year and spent the money to go to the event. This year, not sure. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day, feel like we’ve done it before.

2 years 9 months ago

Given that it has been on the East Coast 3 out of the previous 5 years I don’t think that is a valid complaint.

2 years 9 months ago

Given that it has been on the East Coast 3 out of the previous 5 years I don’t think that is a valid complaint.

2 years 9 months ago

I cannot speak for others, but my lack of willingness to go to Castaic Lake again is just that. I don’t mind another West Coast venue, just not the exact same one the athletes swam in twice (10K and 5K) last year.

2 years 9 months ago

Canyons Aquatic Club is proud to be able to help USA Swimming, in relocating the open water venue and will do our best to top the success of last year’s event. We are working on hotel and other logistic information and will have it posted to our web site ( and USA Swimming within a few days.

As for the wildcards such as Earth, Wind and Fire. We have moved earth to accommodate the event, we cannot control the wind, (but we can double tether our buoys) and as for fire – we have the world’s best fire fighters here in Southern California providing us a safe competition environment. I cannot think of a better open water venue with more controls than Castaic.

What every swim parent needs to know is that visitors to last year’s event at Castaic Lake got to see some of the most exciting finishes in Open Water history. What they did not see what the plethora of high tech equipment owned and operated by Canyons (including a custom built finish structure and multiple high speed cameras) that made it possible to separate more than 20 swimmers hitting a touch pad within 5 seconds of each other. In short, our tech team has no equal.

The winds created havoc and we at Canyons use every past experience as a teaching moment. There could be wind again this year, but we will be ready for it. Lessons learned at last year’s event will make this event even more spectacular. Welcome back to Southern California USA Swimming Open Water. We’re glad to be here to help.

This is not posted anonymously because I am proud of what we’ve done and what we will do.

Ron Mita
Special Events Coordinator
Canyons Aquatic Club

2 years 9 months ago

Yet still no time standards. Over 100 people work for USA Swimming, and they don’t have time standards for a selection swim that is 6 months away.


Swim Mom
2 years 9 months ago

A google search brought up the following 2014 standards which look official. They seem fast compared to prior non-Olympic years – anyone know if they are accurate?:


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every …

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