Scott Rice lists his five favourite ocean swims.
While New Zealand is spoilt for choice when it comes to great open water swimming locations — such as Rotorua's Blue Lake or Mount Maunganui — there are also loads of exciting locations around the globe. These are five of my international ocean swimming must-do adventures.
1. SANTORINI EXPERIENCE, GREECE OCTOBER 7, 2018
An unmissable swim that highlights the best of Greece's swimming conditions and idyllic scenery. A perfect 2.4km swim for all abilities in the Mediterranean's calm, warm seas. After the event: Refuelling at one of the many hilltop restaurants overlooking the ocean, tops off an unforgettable European experience.
2. ALCATRAZ TO SAN FRANCISCO, USA OCTOBER 13, 2018
Definitely not for novices, the 1.9km event attracts cold-water fanatics, with many swimmers striving towards the 'Centurion Club' to clock up 100 crossings during the year. It can be a rough crossing across the San Francisco Bay but the view as you head into Aquatic Park is worth it. After the event: Head to one of the numerous local waterfront spots to warm up with famous seafood chowder and a craft beer.
3. BARBADOS OPEN WATER FESTIVAL, BARBADOS NOVEMBER 7-11, 2018
Dive into the warm, turquoise Caribbean waters at this five-day celebration of water sports. Two days of competitive ocean swim events across 1.5km, 3.3km, 5km and 10km have you coming up close to sea turtles alongside thousands of other swimmers. After the event: Water sports galore and a chilled beach-front vibe make this festival one for the when-I-win-Lotto list.
4. MARATON INTERNACIONAL ACAPULCO, MEXICO DECEMBER 8, 2018
Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the event draws more than 4000 swimmers each year for the 1km or 5km open water swim events in the Mexican seaside resort town. After the event: Acapulco's world famous nightlife and beaches will help you recoverfrom the swim in record time.
5.SWIM JUNKIES CHALLENGE, PHILIPPINES AUGUST 19, 2019
Located in the original destination of the Survivor TV Series, swimmers island hop on 5km and 10km distances, over coral fields and among some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. After the event: Wind down with local cuisine at the Gota Village nestled between mountains and bays.
BE IN TO WIN
Experience Fiji like never before with Ocean Swim Fiji, September 13-17.
The inaugural event perfectly blends fitness and flat-out luxury with five days of relaxation and socialising, three stunning swim locations, and plenty of Fijian sun. Limited to only 200 swimmers, this exclusive event includes swim clinics with legendary ocean swimmers and coaches, 1km or 3km distances for each swim event and the chance to take a break with mates or family.
Win your spot at Ocean Swim Fiji with NZ Herald Travel, with a package including return economy airfares for one person from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, five-nights at the Sofitel Denarau Island Fiji, airport transfers in Fiji, and an Ocean Swim Fiji Swim Pack (including event entry, ground transportation, private island access, and food and beverage package). The whole experience is worth $2899.
To be in to win, head to our Facebook page, find the Ocean Swim Fiji post and tell us in the comments why you think you've got what it takes to compete.
Find out more about the event at oceanswimfiji.com.
Entries close Monday, July 30 at 4pm. Standard NZME terms and conditions apply.
Scott Rice is event director for Ocean Swim Fiji.