FINA Announces New Open Water Swim World Events Series

Jul 12, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chip Peterson of the United States and Richard Wienberger of Canada compete in the men's open water swim during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Ontario Place West Channel. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports Images

FINA has announced a new non-elite open water series that will run in conjunction with the current 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup.  The Open Water Swim World Events series will open the World Cup course to non-elite athletes prior to the World Cup taking place in each location.

Here is FINA’s release explaining the move:

The 2016 Aquatic year will be highlighted by the introduction of a new highly anticipated event on the FINA calendar – the FINA Open Water Swim World Events 2016.

The concept of the FINA Open Water Swim World Events is to run a Mass Participation Swim Series alongside the existing FINA/HOSA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup events.

This new event, and the mass participation of non-elite open water swimmers associated with it, presents a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Increasing the participation in open water swimming events
  • Increasing the revenue for the event organisers
  • Raising the profile of the elite race
  • Providing an opportunity for additional sponsors

FINA Open Water Swim World Events’ participants will swim one lap of the elite course (generally a 2.5km or 1.6km swim) and all races will operate under the FINA guidelines respecting strict safety measures and branding policy.

The 2016 circuit of the mass event will consist of seven legs, usually taking place the day before or the same day than the elite race, as follows:

Patagones-Viedma (ARG) – February 6, 2016
Abu Dhabi (UAE) – February 27, 2016
Balatonfured (HUN) – June 18, 2016
Lac St Jean (CAN) – July 23, 2016
Lac Megantic (CAN) – August 12, 2016
Chun’an (CHN) – October 9, 2016
Hong Kong (HKG) – October 16, 2016