COPACABANA BEACH, Brazil. November 29. THERE are numerous races around the world showcase the sport in beautiful setting with elaborate logistics and thoughtful planning.
These open water races offer everything: interesting and challenging courses, live television coverage, exposure via archived online streaming, competitive elite fields, age-group and fitness swimmer heats, convenient hotel accommodations, pre-race training pools and clinics, comprehensive safety procedures, onshore entertainment, and unique awards.
The Great Swim Series in Great Britain, the Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands, the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, the Fiji Swims, the aQuelle Midmar Mile, Cadiz Freedom Swim in Cape Town, the Descenso a Nado de la ría de Navia in Spain, and Ocean Racing Series in South Africa are world-class examples that set the standards for professionally run events.
And the bar continues to be raised for the good of the sport and its enthusiasts. From increased safety to increased exposure, the highest echelon of open water swims are scenic showcases of the sport.
The King and Queen of the Sea Challenge (Rei e Raniha do Mar Desafio in Portuguese) on the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course for the 2016 Rio Olympics is one such race on December 10th (for women) and December 11th (for men).
Its race director Pedro Rego Monteiro pays attention to the details while envisioning the overall plan on a grand scale. He and his staff provide an easy-to-understand, highly visible, large race map, a luxurious VIP tent with a great view of the course, a nutritious and plentiful buffet for the athletes for duration of their stay, a quiet ready room for the athletes, a pre-race and post-race massage, ubiquitous sponsor exposure throughout the venue, highly visible and impactful sponsor signage throughout the venue, a pre-race press conference, post-race interviews by television reporters and media representatives, onshore and on-the-water cameras for live television coverage, feeding and hydration needs set on individually numbered and separate tables, a unique staggered start based on the results of a pre-race sprint, extremely large (3-meter) turn buoys with sponsor's logos, an onshore finish in front of boisterous fans, volunteers with different responsibilities and easy-to-identify colored t-shirts, and uniquely designed awards and cash prizes for the top athletes.
The bar has been raised and the future will only get better.
Courtesy of Open Water Source