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Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing Like Navia

There are few open water swimming traditions like the Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia in northern Spain.

The quaint town of Navia offers up its gracious Spanish hospitality to the hundreds of swimmers who descend upon the area for the multi-race event held over 3 days.

The Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia, one of the World's Top 100 Open Water Swims, is unique in a number of ways.

1. The parade of athletes: the parade celebrates the participants as winds its way through the narrow streets of Navia.
2. The Queen and King and their court of the race are selected from young individuals who either participate in the race or who act as volunteers.
3. The race is free for those who are registered members of the Spanish Swimming Federation and only 8€ for those who are not.
4. Before the race, participants give a 10€ deposit for the timing chip. Immediately after the race, the timing chips are removed and each athlete receives their 10€ back before they have exited the finish venue.
5. The race is perpetually commemorated throughout the town. In the town council room, there is a beautiful piece of artwork that provides images of the history and activities of the town people (see above). The Descenso a Nado de la Ría de Navia is memorialized in the artwork with a swimmer carved into the Ría de Navia.

There is nothing like Navia.

The opening of the 55th consecutive edition, fueled by the energy of over 150 volunteers and municipal support, will begin tonight in the town square.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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