Estupenda, La Travesía a nado Tabarca - Santa Pola

Estupenda, La Travesía a nado Tabarca – Santa Pola

There is something special about swimming a point-to-point course from an island to the mainland. The sense of accomplishment, the thrill of crossing a channel and the visual allure of traversing across an aquatic venue are some of the reasons why swimmers are drawn to the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, the Cadiz Freedom Swim in Cape Town, and the Travesía a nado Tabarca – Santa Pola in Spain. The Travesía a nado Tabarca – Santa Pola is a 5.9K swim in the Mediterranean Sea that has been organized by Club Natación Alone – Santa Pola for 16 years.

The next Travesía on July 8th takes the usual island-to-mainland course. It starts from the tiny, flat island and marine reserve of Tabarca (population: 98) to Varadero Beach in Santa Pola on the mainland of Spain. The race is limited to the first 900 swimmers and is one of the World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims.

Interesting aspects of the race include its registration process, selection protocol and safety procedures.

This year’s registration period is between March 9th and 23rd. All registrants are assigned a serial number and on March 27th, a random drawing of 900 swimmers is conducted with the 901st swimmer placed on the waiting list.

Similar to the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco and the Cadiz Freedom Swim in Cape Town, swimmers are ferried out to the island of Tabarca. Swimmers have a maximum time limit of 3 hours 30 minutes to finish the swim that starts in the clear waters of the protected marine reserve of Reserva marina de la Isla de Tabarca.

Swimmers are removed from the course if they have not reached the 3K point in 1 hour 45 minutes. To aid in navigation and enhance safety, the course has buoys with red balloons every 200 meters to serve as reference points for swimmers except the buoys at kilometer #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 that are marked with yellow balloons.

The buoys also have life buoys and safety whistles for use of swimmers in emergencies. If for any reason, the race officials decide to suspend the race, sirens are sounded as warnings and swimmers are asked to swim to the closest buoy and wait for the official boats to pick them up.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones