Visit Carpinteria State Beach on a Sunday morning and you just might see a group of swimmers braving the winter water as the sun rises.

Calling themselves the Sunday Sunrise Ocean Swimmers, the dedicated group of seven comes from Thousand Oaks, Westlake, Simi Valley and Agoura. They first met at the Westlake Athletic Club, but after the pandemic forced gyms and athletic clubs to close, they moved their swims to the open water. Nearly a year later, they’ve been returning to the World’s Safest Beach ever since. 

“Some of the triathletes (in the group) have done a race in Carpinteria and others were very complimentary about the beach and having the bouys out there, so we gave it a try and we loved it,” said Gary King, explaining that the visible bouys serve as helpful markers for the swimmers. The group is made up of triathletes, marathon swimmers and recreational swimmers alike, and they swim together as often as they can each week.

Aside from Carpinteria, the group’s go-to spots are Zuma and Ventura Harbor, but the Sunday swims have remained in Carpinteria. Starting at Second Beach by Elm Avenue, the group swims over three miles in the open water, making their way to Tar Pits Park before coming back up to the buoy off Sandyland Cove.

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