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2018 San Clemente Ocean Festival | Orange County Event Guide

Bryan & Siobhan Ulnick

The Ulnick’s are among the most successful real estate partnerships in coastal orange county and bring over 35 years of real estate experience inclu...

The Ulnick’s are among the most successful real estate partnerships in coastal orange county and bring over 35 years of real estate experience inclu...

Oct 3 12 minutes read


"The Greatest Show on Surf" is about to start in Orange County. And, it’s one of our favorite summer celebrations. Because it’s a time to celebrate San Clemente, Surf, and Home! 

From ocean competitions to summer freebies to family fun, the festivities last all day for two days next to San Clemente Pier. Our Orange County Event Guide is filled to the brim with fun for your summer weekend. Whether you’re a longtime resident or seasoned tourist - there is plenty to do in Orange County for San Clemente Ocean Festival. 

How do you get started? You need to know the best things to do in Orange County for San Clemente Ocean Festival! And, it just so happens that we are your connection to the south county lifestyle. We are local experts and longtime residents. Check back with us every month for your Orange County Event Guide. We promise to deliver the must-do’s and must-try’s to love where you live. 

Athletic Events


Event is open to everyone. Must have paddle, board & leash. Judging is based on progressive & classic maneuvers and style (50%-50%). Use of paddle on wave is part of judging criteria. Located on the North Side of the San Clemente Pier (behind the main stage). 

Entry | Beach sign-ups are $55 and begin at 6:00 a.m. Space subject to availability.

Time | Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

6:00 a.m. Check-in* 

6:30 a.m. Start time* 

3:30 p.m. Awards*

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

California lifesavers and ocean athletes compete for overall points and prize money in the San Clemente Ocean Festival Lifeguard Competition. Racers score points 1st through 9th in each event and relays. Participants can enter as many events as they want. SCOF will score all racers events.

Entry | Open to the public, registration begins at 7:00 a.m. North side of the San Clemente Pier. 

All ages permitted. Event Day Registration is $55 (you may enter as many event as you like). Entry also includes commemorative San Clemente Ocean Festival event tee and competitor’s kit from sponsors.

Time | Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

01  //  Surf Race

02  //  Rescue Relay

03  //  Surf Ski

04  //  National Doryman’s Association #1

05  //  International Ironman

06  //  Paddle Board Rescue Relay

07  //  National Doryman’s Association #2

08  //  10’6” Paddleboard Sprint

09  //  American Ironman

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

Entry | Open to the public, registration begins at 7:00 a.m. North side of the San Clemente Pier. 

All ages permitted. Event Day Registration is $55 (you may enter as many event as you like). Entry also includes commemorative San Clemente Ocean Festival event tee and competitor’s kit from sponsors.

Time | Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

10 // 5K Beach Run

11  //  Biathlon (1K Swim/5K Run)

12  //  Open Ocean Paddle (Approximately 5.5 mile course)

13  //  Marine Raider Boat Challenge (Invitation Only)

14  //  One Mile Ocean Swim

15  //  Run-Swim-Run (200m, 300m, 200m)

16  //  SUP Sprint Races (Kids, Juniors, Women’s & Men’s)

17  //  Splash & Dash Relay (Runners 100m/Swimmers 300m)

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

The Ocean Festival 5K Beach Run/Walk is the only event of its kind in Southern California. Participants get a chance to run or walk at the water’s edge along San Clemente’s famous golden shores. Plus, a commemorative San Clemente Ocean Festival event tee and competitor's kit from sponsors. 

Entry | Open to the public. Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. on the North side of the San Clemente Pier. 

Event Day Registration is $35.  All ages permitted. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The race starts at 8:00 a.m.*

Time | Sunday, 8:00 a.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

The 2018 San Clemente Ocean Festival welcomes The Marine Raider Boat Challenge (MRBC)!  This will be an exciting playoff bracket style of 8 x 6-person boat teams.  Teams will race against each other to paddle out past the surf, broach (flip) the boat and paddle back ashore. 

Entry | Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. on the North side of the San Clemente Pier. Registration thru Eventbrite Only: $45 by July 16th, 2018.   

The Marine Raider Boat Challenge (MRBC) is not open to the public. Eligible competitors must be registered in advance with The Marine Raider Challenge and The San Clemente Ocean Festival (Beach Events - Day 2) are eligible to compete. 

Time | Sunday, 11:30 a.m. 

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 


Youth & Family Events


All participants under 18 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian. Participants must provide own fishing tackle, tables/chairs, etc. for use in the derby.

Entry | Bring entry form to the event, or mail with entry fee BY JULY 11th to: San Clemente Ocean Festival, P.O. Box 1373, San Clemente, CA 92674. Make checks payable to: San Clemente Ocean Festival Fishing Derby

Children 12 and under |

  • Only "Game Fish" are eligible
  • Fish must be weighed at time it is caught to be eligible
  • Fish must be hooked and reeled in by the child
  • Prizes awarded for largest three fish.
  • Participants will receive a free 1/2 day fishing trip from Dana Wharf Sportfishing ($29 value)

All ages 13 and older |

  • 2 Categories: Largest "Game Fish" and Largest Shark/Bat Ray
  • Fish/Shark/Bat Ray must be measured in at time it is caught to be eligible
  • Prizes awarded for top TWO largest game fish
  • Prize awarded for the largest shark or bat ray

Time | Saturday, 6:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Registration, Clinic & Derby 

12:30 p.m. Awards*

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

For Kids ages 12 and under.

Entry | Pre-register online now for $20 by July 16th, 2018. Space is limited! Beach sign-ups SUBJECT TO SPACE AVAILABILITY. 

Registration fee includes a commemorative Ocean Festival tee shirt and goodie bag. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Time | Saturday, 7:30 a.m. 

Registration/Check-In @Children’s Pavilion, South of Pier*

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

The Annual 'Groms Rule' Surf Contest is a fun filled day of surfing open to girls and boys age 14 and under. The event is sponsored by Rip Curl.

Entry | Pre-registration thru Eventbrite: $55 by July 16th, 2018 ($40 for Push – In Division). Beach sign-ups $60 ($45 for Push – In Division). SUBJECT TO SPACE AVAILABILITY!

Registration includes commemorative San Clemente Ocean Festival rash guard. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Releases must be signed by Parent or Legal Guardian.

Time | Saturday "Push - In" Divisions & Sunday Boy's & Girl's 11 - 14 & 10 & Under Divisions

Saturday - July 21 "Push - In" Divisions*

Registration and check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. / Competition begins at 11:30 p.m.

Sunday - July 22nd Boy's & Girl's 11 - 14 & 10 & Under Divisions*

Registration and check-in begins at 5:30 a.m. / Competition begins at 6:30 a.m. 

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

The Free Body Surfing Clinics are hosted by San Clemente Body Surfing Club.

Entry | FREE - Just show up!

Time | Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

South of the Pier, next to Children’s Pavilion*

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

Join us for a hot breakfast behind Marine Safety Headquarters (clock tower)! All are welcome, whether you plan to compete in an athletic event or enjoy a day of fun in the sun.

Bring your friends, family and fellow athletes for a big serving of pancakes and sausages served with orange juice or coffee. There's no better way to start the day!

Time | Saturday & Sunday, 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

What is sand and surf without Woody cars? This annual exhibition is a hark back to the 1960’s surfers and their stylish cards. These old Woody station wagons were the best way to transport their longboards to the ocean as they searched for the “perfect wave."

You will not want to miss these incredible vehicles parading down from Avenida Del Mar and onto the pier Saturday and Sunday!  

Sponsored by Youtheory.

Entry | FREE - Just show up!

Time | Saturday & Sunday, 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m 

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

For those that want a birds-eye view of the event, we have the Ocean Art Show in Parque Del Mar. (This is the grassy area below the parking lots, north of the tunnel entrance to the beach.)

Discover all shapes and sizes of ocean and beach related art from landscapes and beachscapes, oil to watercolor paintings, photography to ceramics, stained glass to surfboard rug designs, jewelry to hand-crafted soaps, and more artisan pieces. Everything you need to is available for purchase from great gifts to unique additions to your home!

Entry | FREE - Just show up! Vendor spots are SOLD OUT.

Time | Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

FREE beach concert featuring MoonShine. Sponsored by The Sheckler Foundation. Dinners are available through Fisherman’s Restaurant on the beach. 

Entry | FREE - Just show up!

Time | Saturday, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

Teams of up to 10 people each (20 spaces available) can compete in the following categories: Castles and Things, Creatures, Family or Open on Sunday. Make sure to invite your friends, family, co-workers, and club members to join you on the beach this Sunday. Let's see what you can do!

Entry | FREE - Just show up!

Time | Sunday, 6:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 

Don't miss the town-favorite and final event for this incredible two-day event, the Great Rubber Duck Race. The event promises exciting prizes and lucky winners. Remember, you can purchase and decorate your duck throughout the festival for $5/each. And, make sure to cheer them on as they “catch a wave” to the finish line on Sunday. What a way to celebrate the finale of “The Greatest Show on Surf!”

Entry | $5/each to purchase and decorate ducks throughout the festival!

Time | Sunday, 3:00 p.m.

Location | Pier
622 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, California 92672

More Information 


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