Cove water quality prompts triathlon organizers to move swim to The Shores

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a La Jolla-based non-profit that provides opportunities for physically challenged people and organizes the annual San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC), confirmed to La Jolla Light its decision to move the swim portion of this year’s triathlon from La Jolla Cove to La Jolla Shores, and make it a day prior to the rest of the event.

The reason behind the move is the standing beach water quality advisory at The Cove issued by the San Diego County Environmental Health Department in September, due to the concentration of bacteria.

La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) trustees got word of the change during their Oct. 6 meeting at La Jolla Rec Center, because the CAF request for event street closures and parking was pulled by a citizen for full board review due to the water quality concerns. However, LJCPA president Cindy Greatrex said the board could not discuss water quality issue, because it was not part of the CAF request.

La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) trustee Bill Robins informed planners about the CAF decision to move the swim event to the Shores, and pointed out that it has taken place at La Jolla Cove for more than 20 years.

CAF confirmed that the SDTC swimming event will be held 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at La Jolla Shores. The rest of the triathlon will resume Sunday, Oct. 23, with the start of the bike race at La Jolla Cove, followed by a 10-mile run.

The swim was the only activity of the weekend triathlon where participants would be in contact with Cove waters. The rest of the fundraiser’s activities at la Jolla Cove and Scripps Park will remain in place, like the YMCA Tour de Cove “Spinathon.”

In a statement to triathlon participants, the organization said: “A ‘Water Contact Advisory Warning’ has been issued by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health at La Jolla Cove and it is expected to stay in effect through the SDTC. The Health Department advises beach users to avoid contact with ocean waters where advisory warning signs are posted due to high bacterial levels. Therefore, we’ve made the decision to move the swim portion of SDTC to La Jolla Shores on Saturday, Oct. 22.”

In other LJCPA news:

Streetlights out: City Council President Sherri Lightner’s representative Justin Garver said authorities have been notified of streetlight failures on several blocks in the Village, including Wall Street (between Girard and Ivanhoe avenues) and Hershel Avenue (between Prospect and Silverado streets). “Our office is working with the Streets Division to get the issue resolved as expeditiously as possible,” Garver told the planners.“We know there’s a couple of events coming up in the Village.”

DecoBike update: During the public comment session, LJP&B member Sally Miller raised questions about the upcoming DecoBike stations in the 92037 ZIP code. “I’d like to know why the City thinks it can bring DecoBike bicycles to our community when all the advisory boards from Bird Rock to La Jolla Shores have turned them down unanimously. And I don’t understand why the City thinks it can take away our very precious, very few, parking spaces,” she said. Garver assured her that the City would hold a community meeting to address concerns. “Staff hasn’t identified the final sites at this point, so that’s what we’re waiting for,” he said.

Board positions open: La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee chair Tony Crisafi and Development Permit Review committee (DPR) chair Paul Benton are stepping down from their respective posts due to other commitments. “Both these gentleman have served for many years, and this is hard work with a lot of paperwork, a lot of communication with the City and a lot of time away from your work and family,” said board president Greatex. “We have a couple of people I’ve talked to about Tony’s role, and we have one person who has stepped up to Paul’s role on DPR, and that is Claude Anthony Marengo.”

In December, a special election will be held to fill two empty seats on the LJCPA. One of them expires in April 2017 and the other in April 2019. Both will be eligible for re-election for an extra three-year term at the end of the first terms. Those interested may contact Greatex at

LJCPA next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.