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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Circling Dragonera

The Dragonera Open Water Challenge in Mallorca organized by Neda el Món (Swim the World) , attracted a total of 155 entrants including swimmers from the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Argentina on May 27th.

The second edition of the non-competitive annual event included the option of a short 3km loop off the northern sector of the island in addition to the main 9.5km course around the circumference of the spectacular island off the southwest coast of Mallorca.

After a briefing from the Neda el Món team at the Andratx Yacht Club, participants were transferred to Dragonera’s small harbour by a flotilla of small boats to start the swim in three waves.

Most swimmers wore a wetsuit with the water around 64-66°F (18-19°C) and conditions near perfect for the start with clear blue skies, a light breeze and calm seas.

The first swimmer set a blazing pace at the front of the field, finishing in just 2 hours 10 minutes. The breeze filled in as the swimmers spread out, and for the entrants further down the field it was a challenge to round the north eastern tip of the island in a counter current with building seas.

"The number of swimmers taking part almost doubled since last year, and with six different nationalities represented amongst the entrants this year, it is becoming a popular international event," gushed Aida Molina of Culture Sport 365, the official travel agency partner for the event. "All the swimmers commented on the amazing natural beauty of the surroundings and with the crystal clear water, they had an excellent view of the seabed throughout the swim."

Galileo Giudice, 24, from Patagonia, Argentina was one of the international swimmers who traveled to Spain to take part in the round Dragonera swim. "For me it was a dream come true to take part in the swim around Dragonera as has always been a dream to swim around an island in the Mediterranean. I grew up in Patagonia swimming in the lakes, and it was a huge personal challenge to do the Dragonera Swim. It’s the furthest I’ve ever swum in my life, and it was amazing to be swimming alongside the steep cliffs with swimmers from all over the world. There was a great atmosphere, it was really well organized and we all shared our experiences over a fantastic local paella afterwards."

Amongst the participants was British endurance swimmer Anna Wardley (shown above), who recently launched her Five Island Swim Challenge. The Dragonera swim was the first of five islands that she will be swimming round to raise funds for Toe in the Water, the Samaritans and Sail Africa. The other four are Portsea (Hampshire), Jersey (Channel Islands), Tiree (Inner Hebrides) and the Isle of Wight.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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