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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Perfect Life With Bumps

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

If you enjoy open water swimming, then participating in the FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix race today and next week's FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup race are great activities.

Race is going on in rough conditions. Feeding pontoon was changed due to the waves and surface chop. Coaches feed athletes as they stand in 2-foot waves near shore.

The events are held in the Ocean Maya Hotel in Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula along the Caribbean Sea.

The Ocean Maya Hotel is an absolutely fantastic beachfront resort with buffets open all day with international cuisine.

The athletes train anytime in the warm Caribbean Sea and in the fresh water pools and only have to roll out of their beds with a quick walk to either.

The athletes can relax in the hammocks or in their creatively-decorated  rooms or anywhere on the resort grounds with their like-minded friends from around the world.  Talking, laughing and reminiscing about open water, it is a great life to lead.

The Mexican Swimming Federation and the local organizers from nearby Cancun and Playa del Carmen go well out of their way to treat the athletes with warm-hearted hospitality.

But there is still a 9-mile race to be held.

It will not be easy. Not at all. It is going to be rough and tough.

The stiff ocean winds have kicked up some fierce turbulence and the sand has made the clear tropical waters as silty as a fast-moving river.

"You can be right behind someone and you cannot see them," said American Lexie Kelly. "It is impossible to see the person in front of you in the water."

Bumpy and lumpy only hints at the surface chop that the athletes will face in the 15 km race. Turbulent and turgid are closer to the reality in Playa del Carmen.

Which means there is going to be a lot of sighting and head-lifting in the FINA race this morning. If there is a proper definition of a rough water race, then the Playa del Carmen race in front of the Ocean Maya Resort fits.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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