Accomplished triathlete

Reilly Smith


Gerry will dispute this, but I owe him mostly everything. When we met, I was little more than a big talking fool. I started swimming with Tower 26 and going through some of the hardest workouts of my life. I was suffering, choking on water, screaming below the surface. But I stuck with it day after day, month after month. Then I started making podiums in my AG. Then I started winning them. Someday, I see myself on the starting line of a pro field, not just happy to be there, but ready to compete. None of this would be a reality without Tower 26. That’s a fact. Any baseless coach can put together a workout that’s “hard.” With Gerry, there’s a deep rooted understanding of what it takes to become better, no matter the level of the swimmer. I bought in from the moment we met. It’s almost secondary to mention that I have become a much faster swimmer, and that every month I get faster. Primary to me is that Tower 26 has become a second family. I will always be a big talking fool – that will never change. At least now I can begin to call myself a contender. Thanks G.

John Clothier, M.D.


As a former professional triathlete and practicing sports medicine physician I have had the chance to witness Gerry both in open water swims and as a coach. He understands the mechanisms by which we swim, the motivation that it takes to achieve goals, and the community that keeps us coming to workouts in an enjoyable forum.  Gerry is a peoples person, smart, and generous with his swimming wisdom.  He is highly recommended.

Elske Hetebrij


I met Gerry approximately one and half years ago as I was swimming at TriFit Gym in Santa Monica. Since then I prefer Coach Gerry above anyone else.  Gerry is a very friendly guy, with an incredible amount of experience and knowledge on open water swim and swimming and coaching in general. He has a very calm and relaxed appearance, and at the same time he shows a natural kind of authority, which just makes you want to listen to him and do what he tells you to do.

Since Gerry started coaching at TriFit and the Ocean swims in Santa Monica, I have improved my swimming. I am confident to say that he has made a difference in my swimming. I have been swimming all my life, competitive till about the age of 19 and after that in triathlons, and I have had many coaches. Gerry‘s knowledge and approach has brought me back to a level comparable to my better swim years when I was younger.

His pool workouts are hard, but very efficient.  He is good at explaining why we do something, which is for me is very important. I enjoy his presence and want to work hard. When I swim on my own I try to include the things I have learned from him.

By attending the ocean swims that Gerry coaches I became more comfortable in the ocean, in a rougher swim environment. The workouts are extremely helpful to feel comfortable entering and exiting the water, to be aggressive in your start, which is especially important in races, like triathlons. I learned a lot about sighting, knowing where you are going, where are the buoys, what is the current doing, not to be afraid of the waves. Thanks to these workouts I was able to perform very well in last year’s (’09) LA Triathlon where the swim was extremely hard due to ocean conditions, and I won my age group in the 2010 LA Triathlon.

Mark Ellis


Having known Gerry now for 10 years and swimming under his coaching direction for many of those years, I can confidently say he is one of the finest coaches for pool and open water swimming.  I consider it a real privilege to train under his direction.  He is very intentional and organized with his coaching plans, hands-on with how he explains each workout, helpful in his critique of one’s stroke and breathing methods, and an all-around good guy to be around.  He has impacted my swimming development, both in the pool and ocean, in a very dramatic fashion.  I consider him a coach and very good friend.

Kevin Edwards


Boulder, CO. 50-54

I’ve been racing triathlons since 1984. I’ve raced in excess of 150 triathlons at every distance, including 50+ halfs and 9 Ironman distance races. I have qualifyied for Hawaii three times (at Ironman, half-Ironman, and International distance) and raced it twice. I’ve placed in my age group fairly often even though most of my racing has been done in the Boulder area.

I’ve received a lot of swim coaching over the years and I can say without hesitation that Gerry provided me the best, most effective results. He watched me swim once, gave me a few salient tips on stroke, analyzed what I needed, gave me some workouts and after a winter of following his program (swimming alone since I cannot convince him to move to Boulder), I had my best swim year ever, moving up from finishing in the top 70% to top 85%. Bottom line is that Gerry really knows his craft, and is the best swim coach I’ve encountered.

Mark Montgomery


I was a Los Angeles County Lifeguard for 28 years, as well as a professional triathlete for 15 years. I competed in many ocean races, and had to opportunity to meet Gerry on many occasions. I often would drop in on his workouts, as he would at mine in El Segundo. I have watched him grow form a world class ocean swimmer, into one of the best open water coaches in the world today. He also comes with some of the best pool credentials, coaching many a master swimmer/triathlete to success, and earning national awards from the governing body of masters swimming. Over the past few years I have watched Gerry’s ocean workout group grow to the premier program for triathletes, including some world class professionals. It is nice to know that Gerry once again has a home pool to go with his ocean, and I have no doubt that this program will grow to become one of the best in Southern California. His drive and love of all types of swimming comes through in his athlete’s attitudes and performances, as well as his own performance in the water at each challenge he undertakes. I have and will continue to recommend Gerry to any and all who council my advice in the aquatic world.

Stacey Stern, Palisades resident

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I don’t come from a swimming background, I’m a triathlete and I don’t even really like the water (don’t tell Gerry!) but after swimming with Gerry several times a week for the last year, not only have I gotten faster, but my confidence in the water has improved tremendously.  Gerry Rodrigues is well-known for being one of the best open water coaches around, but what really sets him apart, in my opinion, is his passion for swimming.  He loves swimming and he loves coaching.  Whether you have a swim background or not, whether you are fast or slow in the water, Gerry takes a genuine interest in each person he coaches and will guide you through the workouts you need to make you a better, faster swimmer.  Gerry’s challenging (but fun!) workouts builds your fitness, but also focus on the skills needed to swim (and race) well in open water.  He finds unique ways to incorporate open water swimming and racing skills (sighting, drafting, and even buoy turns!) into pool workouts.  Swimming with Gerry will absolutely give you the fitness, skills, and confidence to toe the line at any race, knowing that you are “Race Ready”!

Holger Beckman, Palisades resident

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With clients coming often from as far away as San Diego and San Francisco to spend an hour with Gerry, we are very lucky to have him here on a daily basis. I started swimming with Gerry at the beginning of 2010 and can now swim comfortably for many many miles without even getting tired anymore and with noticeably less breathing and kicking required than ever before.  For triathlons, this increased endurance and efficiency helps keeping me and my legs fresh for the bike and the run, without sacrificing any swimming speed.  Besides lots of high quality swimming, Gerry’s workouts are specifically tailored for open water racing, including crowded starts, dolphin, sighting, drafting, buoy turns and even wetsuit removal; which is perfect for us triathletes.

Paul Silka, M.D. Palisades resident

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Gerry was a key training ingredient and inspiration that pushed my swimming to a place allowing me to earn USATriathlon  Age Group All American standing and win my age group at 2007 Silverman (140.6).

Thomas F. Wood, M.D. Palisades resident

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I am extremely pleased that Gerry Rodrigues will be swim instructing at the new Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center.  I have known Gerry for more than 2 years, and over that time his swim mentoring has helped me a great deal.  Although I have completed multiple Ironman triathlons, with Gerry’s instruction I have become a much more confident and competent swimmer.  Gerry is an internationally recognized expert swimmer and is sought out for his expertise as a swim instructor. Since I have known Gerry, I have seen a number of elite level triathletes (World Class) travel here to have Gerry help improve their swim. Gerry is incredibly personable and is able to help not only elite athletes, but beginner swimmers as well. It is obvious to me, that having him at the Palisades pool will be an enormous asset and benefit to our community.  I am so excited that Gerry will be involved with the new Palisades pool and look forward to swimming with him there.