King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit and Challenge

King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit and Challenge

The King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit and Challenge are going to stir things up on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Next week, world-class professional and amateur swimmers from all over are heading to Brazil’s 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course for the King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit and Challenge (Rei e Reinha do Mar) on December 10th, 11th and 12th. “The fact that Rio is hosting the King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit, a competition that was voted among the top ten swimming marathons in the world, demonstrates the city’s preparedness to hold events of the magnitude of the World Cup and Olympic Games. It is gratifying for Light to be a part of a project like this that portrays to perfection the healthy habits of cariocas,” says Paulo Roberto Pinto, New Business and Institutional Officer for Light, a master sponsor of the event.

Pedro Rego Monteiro and Virgilio de Castilho of Effect Sport envisioned and created the King and Queen of the Sea competition and came up with innovative practical solutions to showcasing the sport of open water swimming.

From start lines to bleachers on the sand, they also set TV cameras on high cranes on the beach and arm scuba divers with cameras in the water to catch all the action.

They put the feeding stations on the soft sand beach so the athletes have to hustle out of the water and run past the cheering crowds and pulsating music by Zero Calibre who created the event’s theme song.

The King and Queen of the Sea starts with the amateur races: the Sprint King and Queen of the Sea, the Beach Biathlon King and Queen of the Sea and the third part of the King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit.

After, the top female swimmers will compete for the title in the Queen of the Sea Light Circuit. On Sunday, the top marathon swimmers will compete for the King of the Sea Light Challenge which will be broadcast live by Rede Globo during the TV program Esporte Espetacular. In an exciting start to the competition, the starting positions for both the male and female pros will be decided on the day before race day when the swimmers will sprint a short race for a better starting position.

The King and Queen of the Sea will bring 20 of the best swimmers in the planet to Rio de Janeiro including world champions like Chad Ho of South Africa. Not only will the King and Queen of the Sea give visibility to millions of people from Brazil and around the world through live broadcast by TV Globo, but will also give exposure to Copacabana Beach and our ability to carry out large sporting events for the world,” explained Pedro.

Pedro, Virgilio and crew also expect over 2,000 swimmers in the third part of the King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit which will be held on the 2016 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim course. The male and female athletes with the most points from the series will be named King and Queen of the Sea. The 1K King and Queen of the Sea Sprint and the King and Queen of the Sea Beach Biathlon (1K swim and 2K run on sand) will also be held in partnership with the Triathlon Federation of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Later in the day, special needs athletes will compete along the same course (2 x 1K swims with a short run on the sand between the swims).

Celebrities will also take part in the third and final phase of the King and Queen of the Sea Light Circuit. Cynthia Howlett, host of the GNT television program Alternativa Saúde, and comedian Hélio de La Peña from TV show Casseta e Planeta, and reporter TV reporter Smigol from Sportv will all jump in the water.

After Australian pro Trent Grimsey won the trident at the 2009 King and Queen of the Sea Light Challenge, his brother Codie is coming to Rio de Janeiro to represent the family name. Team Brazil will have five top Brazilian athletes and Team World will have five top international athletes. Their starting positions will be determined by a 1K sprint televised on Rede Globo’s Esporte Espetacular. Although the athletes will compete as individuals, the team that scores the most points will be crowned Team King of the Sea.

Although last year’s course was creative and fun, Open Water Source believes this year’s course will even be more creative – and difficult. The athletes must navigate ten 1K legs with a short soft-sand beach run between each leg.

Team Brazil includes Allan do Carmo (3rd place in the 2010 FINA World Cup circuit), Samuel De Bona (1st place in the 2010 Brazilian Marathon Swimming Cup), Luis Arapiraca (1st place in the 2010 Travessia dos Fortes), Matheus Evangelista (2nd place in the 2010 Brazilian Marathon Swimming Cup) and Victor Simões (3rd place in the 2010 Brazilian Marathon Swimming Cup).

Team World includes Australia’s Codie Grimsey (one of the best Australian open water swimmers), South Africa’s Chad Ho (1st place in the 2010 FINA World Cup series), America’s Alex Meyer (2010 world 25K champion), Germany’s Alexander Studzinski (1st place in 2010 King and Queen of the Sea Portugal) and Portugal’s Arseniy Lavrentyev (1st place XI Portuguese Open Water Cup).

On the women’s side, Rede Globo’s Esporte Espetacular will broadcast live the 1K sprint for the starting positions and the seven 1K loops that the women will compete in on the following day.

Team Brazil includes Poliana Okimoto (1st place in the 2009 FINA World Cup circuit and 2009 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year), Isabelle Longo (who represented Brazil in the 2009 World Championships), Betina Lorscheitter (2nd place in the 2010 Brazilian Marathon Swimming circuit), Lauren Goulart (3rd place in the last phase of the 2010 Brazilian Marathon Swimming circuit) and Fernanda Goes (1st place in the 2010 Bahia marathon swimming circuit).

Team World includes America’s Christine Jennings (1st place in the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and a two-time FINA World Cup gold medalist), Mexico’s Alejandra Gonzalez (multi-time Mexican representative at the world championships and World Cup series) and Portugal’s Daniela Pinto (1st place in the 2010 Portuguese Open Water Circuit 2010).

The professional athletes will be competing for nearly US$30,000 in prize money.

A portion of the proceeds from the competition will support the construction of Hospital do Institution Pró-Criança Cardíaca, a hospital that specializes in children with heart conditions.

Instituto Benjamin Constant, another partner of King and Queen of the Sea, will help support visually impaired athletes take part in a 2K race by swimming side-by-side with another athlete. The visually impaired athletes will be accompanied by guide-swimmers including Leonardo Costa, a Pan American Games gold medalist, and Grigori Matuzkov, a member of the 2000 Kazakhstan Olympic team.

Open Water Wednesday will interview the athletes from Rio. With so much going on, it will be non-stop action from Brazil.

Huge turn buoys, giant television audiences, prize money, sprint races, charity swims…lots to be excited about down in Brazil where they know how to organize a party and great open water swims.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association