Organisers of the swim are offering Christchurch residents a 50 per cent discount on registration fees.
What do a retired dentist from the UK, an investment banker from Sydney, a 7-year-old boy, an old cricketer and a popular New Zealand broadcaster all have in common?
They will join an expected throng of 800, including some of our top open-water swimmers, in the renamed State La Grande Ocean Swim in Akaroa on February 19.
Many of those competing are taking part in all six swims in the State NZ Ocean Swim Series, with more than 100 Aucklanders making their way south to take part next weekend.
Akaroa has become the new home for the fourth event in the series after the State Corsair Classic event was cancelled last year because of the Christchurch earthquakes.
The reasons why people swim in this series are as varied as their ages and backgrounds, and for most it's about their training journey and escaping the hardship that Canterbury has endured in the past year.
Callum Lockhart from Prebbleton, who at 7 is the youngest swimmer in the kids' 200m swim, is just keen to have a go: "I am really looking forward to the swim and hope the water is not too cold."
But the oldest swimmer has quite a different reason for taking part. Allan Middleton from Christchurch is surprised that at the tender age of 70 he is the oldest swimmer registered. His main motivation for swimming has been stress relief to deal with the aftermath of the quakes. "I am really looking forward to swimming Akaroa but nervous regards the weather and sea conditions," said Middleton.
Retired Canterbury cricket representative Ash Hart also credits his swim training with keeping him sane. He was one of the many Cantabrians who had their land rezoned after the earthquakes.
In contrast, a retired dentist from the UK is using the series as an excuse to meet up with one of the loves of his life, a woman who now calls Australia home. This year will be the third time 64-year-old David Davidson has taken the plunge in the 2.8km swim alongside his daughter Nicola, a 34-year-old investment banker from Sydney.
Event director Scott Rice has seen a dramatic increase in the number of international visitors such as the Davidsons. "Ocean swimming as a recreational activity is gaining in popularity worldwide, particularly with baby-boomers," said Rice.
"They have the money, the time and are looking for adventure holidays in exciting destinations."
Another visitor to Canterbury for the swim will be Auckland-based broadcaster at Newstalk ZB, Kerre Woodham. Better known off the air for her marathon running, Woodham recently swapped her running shoes for a wetsuit and will be taking part in the 1km swim in Akaroa.
"I loved the challenge of the Wellington swim so I'm tackling a longer distance this time," said Woodham.
State La Grande Swim
When: February 19
Where: Jubilee Park, Akaroa Recreation Grounds, Akaroa
I'm Going Long, 2.8km: 9.30am
Step It Up, 1km: 11.10am
State Ocean Kids, 200m: 11.45am
Give It A Go, 300m: 12.15pm