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San Clemente Ocean Festival 2024 – Registration

The Greatest Show on Surf is returning to San Clemente on July 20 & 21 after taking a year off. The Ocean Festival will run with lifeguards, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, paddlers (SUP & prone), bodysurfers and surfers competing.

The Greatest Show on Surf is returning to San Clemente on July 20 & 21 after taking a year off. The Ocean Festival will play out on the waves alongside the northside of the San Clemente pier. Ocean lifeguards, Jr. lifeguards, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, paddlers (SUP & prone), bodysurfers and surfers will be competing for commemorative Ocean Festival medallions, $4,200 in cash, and most importantly bragging rights claiming top kahuna at the “Greatest Show on Surf”.

Saturday July 20

In the International Lifeguard Competition, ocean lifeguards will race in multiple events to score points that go towards an overall championship worth $4,200 in prize money. Events include: Surf Race, Rescue Relay, Surf Ski, Paddleboard Rescue Relay, International Ironman’s, Paddleboard Sprint and Taplin Relay. Always a crowd favorite is the exciting National Doryman Association Races – where two-person teams paddle 300lb. dory boats through crashing surf. This year the event will be visited by a large squad of Australian Lifesavers from Marroochydore, Queensland, Australia. Aussie competitors are looking to beat the best men and women Californian lifesavers in the exciting surf lifesaving competition. The male & female overall champion athletes win the prestigious Waterman Award, cash prizes and have their names memorialized on a paddleboard hanging in Fisherman’s Restaurant.

Updated is the Junior Lifeguard Competition. Jr. Lifeguards can compete in Beach Flags (a single elimination running event), Surf Race (swim sprint), Run-Swim-Run and Paddleboard Sprint (10’6” & under). The events are open to kids 9 through 17 with Jr. lifeguard/ocean experience. A $4,200 cash purse, special San Clemente Ocean Festival beach towels and Overall Waterman & Waterwomen Championship trophies will be awarded to Lifeguards on Saturday. Top finishing junior lifeguards and Grom’s Rule surfers will receive commemorative medallions. Top scoring Junior Lifeguards in both divisions (12 & under, 13-17) will receive overall high point trophies.

Also, available Saturday to young local athletes is the very popular Dolphin Dash event. Boys & girls run soft sand races on the Southside of San Clemente Pier. Dolphin Dash races begin at 9:00am for ages 4-6 (1/2 mile course), 9:20am for ages 7-9 (3/4 mile course) and 9:40am for ages 10-12 (1 mile course). Returning Saturday will be the “Push-In” Grom’s Rule Surf Contest, a fun-first local surf event for boys and girls ages seven (7) & under. Come cheer on the future’s next surfing stars as their parents push them into the waves alongside the San Clemente Pier.

Sunday July 21

On Sunday, The Beach and Ocean Paddle Events, offer exciting and fun-filled ocean swims, ocean paddles, beach runs, biathlons (run-swim) and Splash & Dash Relay. All entrants must be ocean competent with similar ocean event experience. Beach and Ocean Events include: 5K Beach Run, Biathlon (1k swim/5k run), Open Ocean Paddle, One Mile Ocean Swim, Run-Swim-Run (200mR, 300mS, 200mR), SUP Sprints and Splash & Dash Relay (runners 100m/swimmers 300m). The premiere event is the One Mile Ocean Swim, taking place at 11:30am. Returning this year, SCOF will present the Neptune Award to the top performing male & female swimmers.

For ocean paddlers SUP and prone, the Open Ocean Paddle is an approximately 5.5 mile course around West Reef and Seal Rock. The SUP Sprints will feature a thrilling out and back course through the surf and alongside the San Clemente Pier. Top overall SUP male & female paddlers will win the Poseidon Award. The San Clemente Ocean Festival is excited about the return of the Bodysurfing Invitational at this year’s event. The updated Sunday competition features bodysurfers riding the waves in a surf contest formatted event. Top bodysurfers will advance to a late afternoon final. There will be a bodysurfing demo on the northside of the pier Saturday at 4:00pm.

Also returning to Sunday’s schedule is the popular Grom’s Rule Surf Contest, a hotly contested surf competition for local kids (boys & girls, 10 & under and 11-14 years of age). Come see the tomorrow’s surfing stars ripping the waves at the San Clemente Pier.

Event Information

Additional fantastic events planned at this year’s Ocean Festival include: Ocean Art Show, Woody Car Show, Fishing Derby, Pancake Breakfast, Children’s Pavilion, a Beach BBQ and Saturday Night beach concert.

Registration can be completed at On-site registration begins the days of the event at 7:00 A.M. (at the San Clemente Pier). Some events may fill up prior to the start of the Ocean Festival. Entrants both days to receive an Ocean Festival competitor’s kit including either a commemorative event tee shirt and swim cap.

The San Clemente Ocean Festival is a non-profit organization in partnership with the City of San Clemente.  Monies raised from the Ocean Festival help fund many worthwhile local community organizations. Scholarships are also provided annually to local high schools.

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