A Royal Debut In The Open Water

A Royal Debut In The Open Water

The future Princess of Monaco, Charlene Whitstock, will be participating in the aQuelle Midmar Mile this weekend in South Africa.

The native South African and Olympic swimmer told Multisport Magazine, “I have never swum the Midmar Mile before, so that would be the first motivational inkling to come and do this iconic event. Wayne Ridden, Race Director for the Midmar Mile, and I, along with Terence Parkin had always expressed our desire to actually get to compete in it one day.”

“Not only do I intend to swim the mile, but I will be doing so to raise funds for the Special Olympics which is an even very dear to my heart

The princess will be raising funds needed for the Special Olympics team which will participate in the 2011 World Summer Games this July in Athens, Greece.

I am a patron to the Special Olympics Charity Foundation in Monaco and this has allowed me to raise funds in that part of the world, and to support those athletes who really need the financial assistance. This swim challenge presents me with an opportunity to give back to something to the South African charities. My background as a swimmer and current position as a future royal, definitely presents me with a huge platform to give back something to the community at large.”

And she could not have chosen a more appropriate venue and event for her open water swimming debut. The aQuelle Midmar Mile is truly something else with tens of thousands of athletes taking to the straight-line course in 22 – 23°C in front of thousands of spectators, tremendous fanfare and television broadcasters. The Daily News of Open Water Swimming is privileged to see her participation first-hand and will be covering the multitude of events as they unfold this weekend.

Already the huge amount of logistics and equipment – including an unprecedented 17,000 transponders – are being set up at the venue for the royal debut several days in advance. The site is about a 5-hour drive from Johannesburg and amid beautiful rolling highlands of Pietermaritzburg in northern South Africa. The manpower – both professional and volunteer – to set up this annual event is mind-boggling and a shining example of the direction where the sport of mass participation open water swimming is going.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones