From Openwaterpediaopen water swimmer, race director, observer, and competitive paddleboard racer. She also serves as the historian and member of the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association that was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year for its far-forward thinking. She is the event director of the ocean swimming races of the annual Semana Nautica Summer Sports Festival in Santa Barbara, California, and a lifetime member of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation. She is also the race director for the annual Reef and Run ocean swim and biathlon series.
Cairns grew up swimming on the Mission Viejo Nadadores swim team from 1978-1988. She graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a BA in Environmental Studies in 1993 while swimming on the Gauchos swim team for 4 years. She was named Southern Pacific Masters Association Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 1997. She has participated in numerous Catalina Channel crossing relays and is a member of the team that still holds the fastest Catalina Channel Swimming Federation single and double crossing records. She has been the director of the Santa Barbara 6-mile ocean swim race for the past 10 years and still holds the women’s course record.
Cairns is also is a veteran paddleboard racer. She has raced the Catalina Channel 15 times, 8 of which in the 32 mile Catalina Classic and placing 5 times in the men’s division. She has also raced the 32 mile Molokai paddle board race 3 times. She is very involved in the aquatic community in Santa Barbara.