Massive Turnout for Taiwan’s Cross Penghu Bay Swim: Over 1,600 Participants

Massive Turnout for Taiwan’s Cross Penghu Bay Swim: Over 1,600 Participants

The 2024 Cross Penghu Bay Swim, celebrating its 22nd year, took place on June 30th with a record-breaking 1,656 participants. Swimmers set off from Daguoye in Xiyu and Guanyin Pavilion in Makung, embracing the challenge and the beauty of Penghu.

The spotlight was on the 5,000-meter swim. Tsai Yao-yu (蔡曜宇) from Kaohsiung took the men’s title, finishing in 1:34:09. In the women’s category, Kuo Jia-chi (郭家齊) clocked in at 1:34:35, marking her second consecutive win in this distance. Tsai, who won the 2,000-meter event last year, celebrated excelling at a longer distance.

This year introduced the 5,000-meter stand-up paddleboard (SUP) race. Song Chih-gang (宋志剛), from Taipei won, completing the course in 51 minutes and 56 seconds.

Penghu County Magistrate Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) and other dignitaries like Taipei City Department of Sports Commissioner Wang Hung-shiang (王泓翔) presiding over the race. Winds reached speeds of 29 km/h, and waves were 1-2 meters high, adding complexity to the race. The water temperature was a refreshing 25 degrees Celsius. Swimmers had to strategically navigate using landmarks like Shigong Reef and the Matsu statue to stay on track.

Thirty-six young swimmers from Changhua participated, taking their inaugural bay plunge. Ms. Tsai is their coach. She noted how the event inspired them. It ignited a passion for swimming and set their sights on bigger challenges.

The organizers also set up an outdoor carnival at the Guanyin Temple Recreation Area. Here participants enjoyed Penghu’s local foods after the event.

“The sponsor Hei Niu Black Sugar Cake provided 1675 chocolate black sugar cakes for each participant. The Penghu County Agricultural and Fishery Industry Cooperative organized various local delicacies, including oyster noodle soup, fried squid and mackerel, Ali Mountain pork sausages, dogfish rice cakes from Shanshui, Chima Bay three-color cuttlefish balls, cuttlefish, cuttlefish and shrimp oil sticks, and Chikan Ali fried and stir-fried anchovies. These offerings allowed the hungry swimmers to feast and replenish their energy immediately after coming ashore.”

China Times

Over its 22-year history, more than 20,000 participants have swum across the bay. This year’s event had a record turnout – drawing athletes and enthusiasts from around the world to this beautiful corner of the globe.

Photo credits: participants of the 2000-meter challenge group starting from Makung Guanyin Pavilion. (Taiwan Triathlon Company / Photo by Xu Yimin) Taiwan News article by Sean Scanlan Record participants for Taiwan’s Cross Penghu Bay Swim.