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5 Of The Best Open Water Swim Races Around The World

Not all open water swim competitions are in rolling high seas of grey commanding waves and white horses. Some are absolute paradise and even warm, with beautiful scenery and pristine waters. You might still need to keep your wits about you for jellies and sharks, however, so it’s still not for the faint hearted.

These swims still push you to your limits and we know that’s why you love the challenge! Here’s our fave five:

Big Swim
Palm to Whale Beach, Australia

The Big Swim from Palm Beach to Whale Beach is arguably the premier event on the ocean swim calendar. It’s the last leg of the Pittwater Ocean Swim Series, and grows in popularity each year.

The beach-to-beach swim started in 1974 with just shy of 40 competitors; and today, it is pushing upwards of 2000 swimmers. This swim can be one of the toughest on the ocean swimming calendar depending on the conditions. It’s a 2.5km course starting from the Palm Beach Pavilion and it finishes right in the middle of Whale Beach. Swimmers can face a very strong swell and a rough chop but it also has potential to be a leisurely swim with calm, flat surf. It’s an aquatic lottery!

Lake Okataina Open Water Swim
New Zealand

The five distances – 200m, 800m, 1.5km and 3km – take place in the peaceful, tree lined waters of the stunning Lake Okataina, close to Rotorua on the North Island. A pristine and beautiful location attracting people of all ages back again and again.

Chia Sport Week

Racers compete on the stunning Sardinian coastline, Italy’s finest sea.

Competitors in the three distances (1.9km, 3.8km and 5km) start on the golden sands of Dune di Campana beach on the islands’ southern tip, before following a course through the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea and back to land. It’s quite the spectacle and there is a whole host of sporting feats going on for the week.

The Castle Swim Series
Lough Cutra Castle, Ireland

The Castle Swim Series, brings swimmers a round of 5km, 2.5km and 1mile swims to 5 iconic castles and exclusive use of the lakes. These events promise not just stunning swim courses, but a medal, finish line treats and a festival event village filled with live music and entertainment.

El Cruce

Home to stunning crystal clear waters, the Global Swim Series Championship Races takes place in tropical El Cruce in Cancun and is the largest marathon swim in the world and could well be the most beautiful competitive swim you ever do. It sells out every year at a cap of 100 swimmers. Aside from the breathtaking coastal views the offer is there to swim over an underwater museum during the 10km race.

The museum was commissioned as an exceptionally creative and artistic way to build an artificial reef. Swimming right over 500+ stunning and detailed statues that were carefully placed at the bottom of the ocean for you to see and for new corals to grow on, creating a whole new ecosystem. You can see these works of art as you complete the race, thanks to the clarity of this one of a kind location.