Newport Beach

From Openwaterpedia
The Wedge at Newport Beach

Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is an affluent American city in Orange County, California, 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Santa Ana. The population was 85,287 at the 2010 census.

Open Water Swimming & Surfing

Newport Beach is also home to Newport Harbor and the famous Wedge and several open water swimming competitions including the Big Richard, Piers and Beers, Newport Pier-to-Pier Swim, and the Don Burns 1-mile Scholarship Swim. These races are part of the Southern Pacific Masters Open Water Series held along the Southern California coast:

June 22nd: 50th Annual Seal Beach Rough Water Swim in Seal Beach
June 29th: Semana Nautica One Mile Open Water Swim in Santa Barbara
June 30th: Semana Nautica Three Mile Open Water Swim in Santa Barbara
July 13th: Newport Beach Pier to Pier Two Mile Open Water Swim in Newport Beach
August 3rd: Corona Del Mar Don Burns One Mile Open Water Swim in Corona del Mar
September 22nd: Mission Mile and Southwest Zone Open Water Championship in Mission Viejo
November 28th: Turkey Brine Pier Swim in Huntington Beach

The Wedge in Newport Beach

The Wedge

The Wedge is a world-famous surfing, body boarding and body surfing spot located at the extreme east end of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. During a south swell of the right size and direction, the Wedge can produce huge waves up to 30 feet (9.1 m) high. It is the start of the Big Richard, the longest beach run + ocean swim in the United States.

The waves are a by-product of improvements to the groin (rock jetty) on the west side of the Newport Harbor entrance undertaken during the 1930s. When conditions are right, and a wave approaches the shore at the proper angle (most generally a south swell), an approaching wave will reflect off the jetty creating a second wave. The reflected wave meets up with the following wave of the set and forms a peak, and this pattern can repeat for several following waves as well. The combined effect of the reflected wave and the incoming wave creates a combined wave much larger than either of the two separate waves and occurs very rapidly and forms waves in a very unpredictable and "unstable" pattern, so that no two waves are alike and the exact breaking point is difficult to predict even for an experienced surfer.

Although this condition primarily occurs with large, south swells, it can also occur, with considerably lesser frequency, during "normal" conditions.

In addition, the beach at The Wedge is very steeply shaped sand, resulting in what is known as shore break (see below) and a very strong backwash which often drags people back into the surf. The backwash itself frequently creates another, outgoing wave, which can hit an incoming wave or surfer with enormous force. With the combined effect of the unpredictability of where the incoming waves will break, and the strength of the backwash, the resulting wave action can be highly unpredictable and therefore both exciting as well as very dangerous. Of course, it is this combination of danger which draws so many to surf The Wedge. Inexperienced swimmers or surfers should always use caution when considering swimming in the surf near The Wedge.

The Wedge really breaks largest when intense Southern Hemisphere storms or large tropical depressions, and hurricanes send their energy from the proper SSW direction, primarily during the summer & fall months.

2011 Newport Pier-2-Pier Swim

2017 Newport Pier-2-Pier Swim

External links