ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Catalina

Racer information 2020
Pierre Mangez
International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green
Destination partners
  • Catalina Island Visitors Bureau
  • Catalina Island Company
  • Catalina Island Conservancy
  • City of Avalon
  • USC Wrigley Institute
  • Gococo
  • Precision Hydration
  • CrownHealth
  • Dryrobe

Racer information

Updated 2019-11-01

Here you will find everything you need to know as a racer at ÖTILLÖ Catalina World Series, Sprint and Experience. Please read this thoroughly as the information is important for your experience before and during the race.

Good luck and have fun!

Race Directors
Mats Skott
+46 (0) 735 25 97 01

Michael Lemmel
+46 (0) 735 25 97 02


Friday, February 28th, 2020
13:00-15:00 #cleantheocean activity – Two-hour joint trash search and collect in Avalon
Saturday, February 29th, 2020
09:30-10:30 Registration ÖTILLÖ Sprint & Experience – The Reef restaurant, Two Harbors
10:30 MANDATORY Race briefing ÖTILLÖ Sprint & Experience – The Reef restaurant, Two Harbors
11:30 Start ÖTILLÖ Sprint & Experience Team & Solo – Two Harbors
12:30 First Experience Team/Solo across the finish line
13:20 First Sprint Team/Solo across the finish line
13:40 Cut-off for ÖTILLÖ Sprint at Isthmus Harbor Beach
15:30 Prize giving ÖTILLÖ Sprint & Experience – The Reef restaurant, Two Harbors
16:00-17:45 Registration ÖTILLÖ World Series – Casino Theatre, Avalon
16:45-17:45 Wine & cheese welcome drink – Casino Theatre, Avalon
17:45 MANDATORY Race briefing ÖTILLÖ World Series, for all racers – Casino Theatre, Avalon
Sunday, March 1st, 2020
07:00 Chartered ferry to Two Harbors from Avalon. 45 minute ride
09:15 Start ÖTILLÖ World Series – Two Harbors
11:05 Cut-off at Time 2 Two Harbors
13:20 Cut-off at Time 4 Parsons Landing
14:00 First team across the finish line
16:30 Cut-off at Time 7 Isthmus Harbor Beach
17:30 Last team across the finish line
14:30-18:00 Burgers & beer ÖTILLÖ World Series – The Reef restaurant, Two Harbors
18:00 Prize giving ÖTILLÖ World Series – The Reef restaurant
18:45 Load chartered ferry back to Avalon. Bar open on-board


Catalina Island is reached by ferry from Mainland California. Catalina Island ferry terminals are found in Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point with timetables found here. If you are sensitive to seasickness we recommend that you take medication before travel.

For those planning to participate in the Saturday races (Sprint & Experience) in Two Harbors we will have a special ferry service from the Catalina Express Ferry Terminal in San Pedro in the morning of the race and returning in the afternoon of the race. To make sure you can be at all functions and participate in the races.

The ferry times and online ticket sales for this special ferry service will open no later than January 10th, 2020. There will be space for all the Saturday racers.

For the Sunday World Series race you need to be in Avalon no later than 16:00 on Saturday for registration, the welcome drink and the MANDATORY race briefing. You should plan Saturday and Sunday evening in Avalon. We will transport you to Two Harbors for the race and back.

National and International air travel is recommended to Los Angeles (LAX) from where it is easy to take a car service to the ferry terminals. Count 90 minutes to the San Pedro ferry terminal from LAX so that you have plenty of time.

Please read this article in SwimrunLife Magazine for more info


For bookings at the following hotels at Catalina:

  • Atwater Hotel (Avalon)
  • Pavilion Hotel (Avalon)
  • Mt. Ada (Avalon)
  • Banning House (Two Harbors)

Use the code “Swimrun” for a 10% reduction of the off-season rate.


The registration for the Sprint and Experience will be at the Reef restaurant in Two Harbors. The registration for the World Series race will be at the Avalon Casino.

  • Registration for ÖTILLÖ Sprint and Experience – Saturday, February 29th, 09:30-10:30
  • Registration for ÖTILLÖ World Series – Saturday, February 29th, 16:00-17:45

All racers have to come to the registration to collect their Start packs. At the registration you will have to display your photo-ID and sign that you accept the rules. If you plan to race with fins you need to bring these so that we can verify that they are in line with the rules.

At the registration we will sell the following items, cash only:

  • Foldable cups – 5 USD
  • Soft Flasks – 10 USD

Included in the start pack


  • Timing chip to be returned, 1 per person
  • Race bib to be returned, 1 per person
  • Swim cap, 1 per person
  • Race map
  • ÖTILLÖ Give away, 1 per person



  • Timing chip to be returned, 1 per person
  • Race bib to be returned, 1 per person
  • Swim cap, 1 per person
  • Race map
  • ÖTILLÖ Give away, 1 per person



  • Safety buoy is optional and you can borrow one at the registration.



  • Timing chip to be returned, 1 per person
  • Race bib, 1 per person
  • Swim cap, 1 per person
  • Race map
  • ÖTILLÖ Give away, 1 per person
  • Post- race dinner voucher, 1 per person


We care for the environment and encourage you to reuse your Swim cap from our previous events. If you do not need the new one that you receive in the start package, please give it back at the registration.

Mandatory equipment

Mandatory equipment per team is:

  • 1 First aid pressure bandage, packed waterproof
  • 1 Neoprene wetsuit per person suitable for the current water temperatures. If the water temperature is above 19 degrees Celsius you can choose to not race in a  neoprene wetsuit. If you do so you must use a pull buoy.
  • 1 Compass/Watch Compass
  • 2 Whistles, 1 per person
  • 2 Foldable cups/soft flasks or similar (not your swim cap) to drink from at the energy stations

Mandatory equipment in the Solo classes is:

  • 1 First aid pressure bandage, packed waterproof
  • 1 Neoprene wetsuit suitable for the current water temperatures. If the water temperature is above 19 degrees Celsius you can choose to not race in a  neoprene wetsuit. If you do so you must use a pull buoy.
  • 1 Compass/Watch Compass
  • 1 Whistle
  • 1 Foldable cup/soft flask or similar (not your swim cap) to drink from at the energy stations

Mandatory equipment that the organisation will supply:

  • Race bibs that must be worn visible all the time during the race
  • Swim caps that must be worn visible during all the swims
  • 1 Map
  • Timing chips, 1 per person

Before start and at the finish line we will randomly select teams for a check of the mandatory equipment. If the teams are missing any of the equipment required, they will get a 15 minute time penalty per item.

Equipment that is not allowed:

  • The maximum size pull buoy that you can have in any ÖTILLÖ race is  32 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm. If you want to have more than one pull buoy the total size cannot exceed 32 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm.
  • No wetsuits can be modified with paint or color that washes off in the water. This will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Swim fins are not allowed if the fin is longer than 15 cm. Measurement is from the toe to the end of the fin.

Rental wetsuits

”Try before you buy”.

Now you have the possibility to rent the Worlds fastest swimrun suits at all ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series events. Book your suit online and pick it up on site at the ARK box. Limited amount of suits per event. If you want you have the option to buy your suit afterwards at a discounted price.
Book your wetsuit here.

For our races in 2020, you can start book your wetsuits in the end of December 2019. Use the same link above.

Rental sites:

  • ÖTILLÖ Malta - November 23 - 24, 2019. Last day for booking November 18.
  • ÖTILLÖ Catalina - February 28 - March 1, 2020. Last day of booking February 10th.
  • ÖTILLÖ Hvar — April 18 - 19, 2020. Last day for booking April 10
  • ÖTILLÖ Utö — May 23 – 24, 2020. Last day for booking May 18
  • ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly — June 6 - 7, 2020. Last day for booking May 26
  • ÖTILLÖ Engadin — July 4 - 5, 2020. Last day for booking June 28
  • ÖTILLÖ Final 15K — August 29, 2020. Last day for booking August 26
  • ÖTILLÖ 1000 Lakes — September 19 - 20, 2020. Last day for booking September 13

Race bib and timing chip

The system we use is a chip that you attach around your right ankle with a Velcro strap and when you pass the timing checkpoint your time will be registered. We will have up to 10 checkpoints along the course and will be reporting your times live on the website. We can only guarantee that you will be registered if you carry the chip around your right ankle. It is important that you return your chip after the race. Non-returned chip will be charged 100 USD.

  • Your race bib must be worn visible at all times
  • Your swim cap must be worn on all swims
  • Your timing chip must be worn on your right ankle at all times

Race briefing

The race briefing for the Sprint and Experience will be at the Reef rstaurant in Two Harbors. The race briefing for the World Series race will be at the Avalon Casino. Be on time. MANDATORY for all racers.

  • Briefing for ÖTILLÖ Sprint and Experience – Saturday, February 29th, at 10:30
  • Briefing for ÖTILLÖ World Series – Saturday, February 29th, at 17:45

Logistics to get to start

The start for all three races is at in Two Harbors. We will transport the Sunday World Series racers back and forth from Avalon. For Saturday Sprint and Experience you will need to make your own way with the regular ferries. Make sure to be there on time.

  • You have to be in the start box 10 minutes before start
  • Toilets are available by the start line
  • You can leave a small bag at the indicated place at the start. Bring a minimum of valuables.

Cut offs

The ÖTILLÖ Experience does not have any cut-offs. The ÖTILLÖ Sprint has one (1) cut-off:

  • Isthmus Harbor Beach at 13:40

The ÖTILLÖ World Series has three (3) cut-offs. These are for your safety:

  • Two Harbors at 11:05
  • Parsons Landing at 13:20
  • Isthmus Harbor Beach at 16:30

We have cut-offs in our events to make sure that we can have a safe race; these are put in place so that everyone has a possibility to finish before dark and without jeopardizing the safety of others by stretching the safety organization too much. Please respect this and the people enforcing them.

Energy stations

We will have energy and liquid stations along the course as marked in the course map.

  • Please eat and drink what is offered, do not take more, as there are others behind you.
  • Please re-use your cup instead of taking multiple cups.
  • From energy station 2 in the Sprint and energy station 3 in the World Series you will have to use your own collapsible cup or another solution you prefer.
  • We will have water and electrolytes by Precision Hydration at all stations.
  • We will have energy bars from Crownhealth at the energy stations in all races.
  • Besides this we will have fruits and normal food.
  • If you need gels, bring your own and carry in your wetsuit. Do NOT throw the wrappers on the ground that will lead to disqualification, leave them in the garbage cans at the energy stations.

Cups at ÖTILLÖ races

In our quest to leave as small of an environmental footprint as possible we have decided to take away the majority of disposable cups during our races. This means that we will ONLY have disposable, paper cups at the first two (2) energy stations at the World Series race and first energy station at the Sprint.

After that we expect you to have your own foldable cup or soft flask to be able to drink. If you don’t have your own foldable cup you will be able to buy one at the race registration.

Race course

If the race organization believes there is a danger for the racers or the organization based on weather or other conditions, the course can be changed the day before or even in the middle of the race. Safety is our priority.


  • Take care of each other; it can be a long and tough day.
  • We have safety boats and are trying to do our best to cover the course.
  • All racers have to help another racer in an emergency.
  • We have 2 medics and 1 doctor on the course. We also have two stationary medical teams and medical assistance at the finish line
  • Communicate with race officials when help is needed.
  • If you abandon the race you must communicate with race officials as soon as possible and return the timing chip to the ÖTILLÖ tent by the Finish Line (from behind). Do not cross or go close to the finish line with it on.


  • You cannot wear a towrope before the first swim.


We will NOT accept ANY trash along the course. If you throw any trash outside of the provided bins at the energy stations we will disqualify you straight away. Make sure you know how to carry any trash between the different energy stations.

Basic rules

  • You must have read and understood the rules before you start
  • You race at your own risk.
  • The team has to stay together at all times. 10 meters apart is the maximum distance allowed.
  • The racers have to follow the marked route. If not, you will get a time penalty or disqualification.
  • It is not allowed to get assistance from other people than the race organization during the race. Breach of this rule will result in disqualification.
  • It is not allowed to throw trash along the course (The only places are at the energy stations). Breach of this rule will result in disqualification.
  • The gear that you have from the start has to be brought to the finish.
  • FINS – if you plan to use fins make sure that they comply with the new FIN RULE – which means they CANNOT be longer than 15 cm beyond your foot.


  • Do not swim in the SPRINT or EXPERIENCE COURSE during those races.
  • Do not swim across the harbour basin in Avalon, it can be busy and very dangerous.
  • Do not go close to the Buffalo, walk away slowly if you see them and if they are in your way then make a detour to avoid them.


You must have a valid personal insurance for racing in Swimrun. If you do not have one you can purchase ours for the race or for the 2020 season, valid in all the races listed. It is an insurance that will repay your entry fee and travel costs if you have to withdraw prior to the race due to an accident or illness (you have to have a doctor’s certificate).

­Read more and buy your insurance here.

Media production

During each race we make a big media production for social media and traditional media. You will see photographers, reporters and film teams along the course. If you have any personal media contacts that would like to have material from us please email to media.requests@otilloswimrun.com.

We will cover the ÖTILLÖ World Series Catalina LIVE on otilloswimrun.com/live, please spread the information to all your friends and family. We will also use #otillocatalina to tag our posts, please do so too. Our images that we post from the race are free to use for you as racers but not allowed for commercial use to promote other products or events.

Weather on Catalina Island

In the end of February and the beginning of March the spring has started on Catalina with usually dry, sunny weather. Outside temperature is close to 18 degrees and this means that it will be warmer in the sun. Water temperatures are between 13 – 14 degrees C.

Like everywhere we can have wind, rain and un-seasonably cold weather, make sure you bring clothes to handle this.

To see the current weather and temperatures check out the following link. Current weather on Catalina

The water in the Pacific is salty, this has an advantage as you will have more flotation, and it also has a disadvantage and that is the possibility for chafing during the race. Make sure you prepare areas that rub so you enjoy both the beginning and the end of the race.

Spectators, friend and families

We strongly suggest that you take the time to enjoy Catalina Island and the California coast. Bring your friends and family to enjoy a long weekend or the week with you. The hotel deals is of course for them as well.

As the courses passes through Two Harbors you will be able to see the start, the middle and the end of the race from there.

NOTE: you may not assist any teams unless if it is a medical emergency. Any other assistance will result in disqualification of the team.

ÖTILLÖ Qualification

ÖTILLÖ World Series Catalina will award 8 spots to ÖTILLÖ 2020, The Swimrun World Championship. These spots will be awarded to the teams, where no member already has a spot to ÖTILLÖ 2020.

The Spots will be awarded as below:

  • 3 men
  • 3 mixed
  • 2 women

If any spots are not awarded they belong to the race organization.

Swimrun ranking

All teams that finish an ÖTILLÖ World Series race or a race with ÖTILLÖ merit status will receive ranking points, see all merit races here. Check out the races, finish them and get points. If you are not registered, read more about the Swimrun ranking and register here.

To be able to participate in ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship through ranking selection or random team selection, you need to have ranking points. Read more about how to gain your spot for ÖTILLÖ The Swimrun World Championship here.

ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series 2020

Teams that finish top 30 in each category (Women/Men/Mixed) will collect points in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series 2020. Your team can collect points from all ÖTILLÖ World Series events and ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship in 2020.

The winning team in each category will be honoured at the last World Series event of the year.

Check out the World Series standings and the new point distribution here.

ÖTILLÖ Merchandise

As you might know we have some ÖTILLÖ branded goods. These can be found on our website

Our partners will be in the event area at the finish line with products on-site.


Swimming induced pulmonary oedema (SIPE) is a condition which has gained attention in recent years. In short, due to somewhat unclear mechanism, fluid collects in the lungs, compromising the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream. This results in the following symptoms;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased oxygen saturation (which has to be measured with medical instruments)
  • Cough, sometimes with blood

There is ongoing research in the subject, and as the knowledge increases, we will hopefully learn how to better prevent, diagnose and treat the condition.

The current research suggests that the condition terminates in less than 48h. Often it’s enough to stop the activity, remove/open up the wetsuit and get warm. In some cases, oxygen therapy is needed. It’s not fully understood why the condition arises.

There are yet no studies evaluating the long-term effects of SIPE. There is evidence that susceptible individuals may have recurrent episodes of SIPE. There are some medications that may help to prevent recurrent episodes.

If you experience the above symptoms, we recommend stopping the activity and contacting race marshals. If you encounter symptoms during a training session, we recommend seeking medical attention since there are other medical conditions which can manifest in the same way.

Train smart, race hard and take care of yourself and your partner!

International partners
  • Vivo Barefoot
  • ARK Swimrun
  • Mr Green