UPDATE: With Warmer Air Temps, Castaic Rises to 68 on Thursday


An unofficial reading of 65 degrees Fahrenheit was taken at Castaic Lake on Wednesday, indicating that there’s a good chance wetsuits will be optional at the 2017 Open Water Nationals beginning Friday. The official temperature will be taken 2 hours prior to the national 10k, national 5k, and junior national races to determine the official “race temperature” that will govern the use of wetsuits.

Update: We have received word that Thursday’s water temperature was 68 degrees. The rise in temperature from Wednesday to Thursday was due to the air temperature. If temperatures are above 68 tomorrow, wetsuits won’t be allowed in the national 10K races.

USA Swimming initially declared the competition to be wetsuit-free, but a little over a week ago they adopted FINA’s wetsuit rules for the competition which meant they would potentially be in use depending on the temperature.

The FINA rule says if the water temperature is below 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit wetsuits are required, and if it’s above 68 they won’t be allowed. Anything in between and they’re optional. Prior to the reading on Wednesday, information from LA County lifeguards led USA Swimming to say wetsuits would likely be optional.

SwimSwam photographer and open water expert Mike Lewis says that if given the option, those athletes gunning for a spot on the Open Water World Championship team would be making a mistake to not wear a wetsuit and using the advantages that come with it.

However, just as many believed about the full-body polyurethane suits in 2008 and 2009, many coaches believe that wetsuits give a bigger advantage to a less-talented swimmer, meaning that the most talented swimmers could be left off the team.

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OW Swimmer
6 years ago

I’m a swimmer at Nationals currently. The lake is likely 65 degrees in the competition area, the deeper middle portion of the lake. This temperature is the officially stated temp by the Castaic Lake website. USA swimming officials claim the lake is 68 degrees. The swimmers here are preparing for wetsuits because of how cold it is, but the general feeling is that USA swimming will force textile suits and ban wetsuits in the end no matter what the temperature.

6 years ago

how might I go about getting tickets for this?

Reply to  murica
6 years ago

Just pay the $11 parking fee at Castaic Park.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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