2. January 2012 15:38
Ben Stubenberg, Co-Race Director of the Turks & Caicos Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim that is part of the West Indies Bluewater Ocean Swim Series, announced, possibly, the world's first exclusive open water swimming zone in an ocean.
It is certainly the first exclusively designated open water swimming zone in the Caribbean Sea. "In 2012, we will be putting in the first open water swimming training zone in front of one of the Alexandra Hotel in Provo during the second week of January.
The idea is to provide a safe, cordoned area, in a triangular configuration, where swimmers can practice their open water swimming skills between measured buoys in the sea," explained Ben.
Based on the guidance received from the Turks & Caicos Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, Ben is anchoring the buoys in an environmentally friendly manner by using special pins that will be augered into the sand. "There will be no more cement blocks and I specially ordered cylindrical yellow polyurethane buoys from a small manufacturer in British Columbia, Canada.
The intention is to give swimmers a safe environment to practice all open water swimming skills while measuring the distance they have covered. The whole idea was born out of frustration at not being able to get in a good swim workout while on vacation without risking being hit by a boat. It is especially great to see the Sports Commission and the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources' support of open water swim training and racing in Turks & Caicos.."
With this exclusive open water swimming zone, Caicu Naniki (meaning "island reef where the festive spirit lives") will offer half-day swim safaris that will give swimmers an opportunity to swim along the nearby cays or out to the reef while being closely followed by a boat and kayak. "This is another way to get in a good workout," explained Ben who is also president of the Turks & Caicos Islands Swim Federation. "Swimmers can test themselves in open water conditions for a particular time or distance while enjoying the turquoise water and nice beaches. A 45-foot charter catamaran will provide special swim charters through the Caicos Cays."
Photo shows the start of the Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim.