Swimming In Costa Brava
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Costa Brava is a coastal region of northeastern Spain, consisting of Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and Selva, in the province of Girona. The Costa Brava stretches from Blanes, 60 km northeast of Barcelona, to the French border – where there are all kinds of open water swimming activities.
Captain Toni Fiol escorted six Spanish swimmer – Guillermo Sagnier, Christian Puentes, Alberto Compte, Jordi Cañellas, Mauricio Prieto, and Esteban Raventós – along this coast – 118.6 km – in 32 hours 7 minutes from Blanes to Portbou in July 2015. “We came across all sorts of weather conditions, ranging from the very favorable to very challenging conditions at night, with a 21 knot headwind and turbulent waves,” explains Prieto who had estimated the swim might take the Swim4Good Costa Brava relay up to 43 hours. “It was among the longest distance a 6-swimmer relay has swum by a European team in continental European waters.”
But they will take that 32 hour swim because it was definitely a Swim4Good.
Zoom Swim Games
Aida Molina of Culture Sport 365 organized the Swim The Costa Brava circuit series started in 2014. The Zoot Swim Games take place in Montgat, Barcelona with a unique format that has been used in South Africa and Canada in various competitions.
Zoot Swim Games features a qualifying race where each participant has to cover a distance of 300 meters in each round, followed by a semifinals and finals. The event is held a 200m outdoor saltwater swimming pool. Four swimmers compete in each round, but only one swimmer moves on to the next stage. Additionally, Zoot Swim Games also holds a non-competitive 1.5 km open water swim on Montgat beach.
Molina of Culture Sport explains the Swim the Costa Brava video below, “This is a compilation of the best swimming moments we have had over this year. A tribute to the entire swimming community and of course, to the Costa Brava region for its outstanding natural value. Come and participate in some of our swimming activities scheduled for 2014.“
* April: 4X Swim Festival + 1.5 km Open water swimming in Barcelona, Spain
* May: 3 km Palamos Swim race + 1.5 km popular swim in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
* September: Cala Montgo Swim Festival by Zoot (12 km, 6 km, 3 km, 1.5 km) in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
* November: 2.0 km Winter Swim Trophy in Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain
Her business partner Daniel Pagés describes in Spanish, “2013 ha sido un año repleto de aventuras y actividades dirigidas a toda la comunidad de la natación en aguas abiertas. Aquí tenéis una pequeña muestra de todo lo que hemos vivido en los últimos 365 días en la Costa Brava y también en el extranjero. Esperamos seguir compartiendo brazadas con todos vosotros en 2014! Nos vemos en el mar!“
Daniel Pagés, the Technical Director of Swim the Costa Brava, has a lifelong relationship with the water. At the age of 4 in Badalona (Barcelona), he began swimming in the same pools where Spanish Olympic medalist Mireia Belmonte also trained.
He soon joined the competitive swimming club where he spent he developed into a national level backstroker. But the back and forth training over the black lines of the pool, caged by lane lines and interrupted by constant turns against concrete walls, was not for his future. He longed to escape the monotony of competitive pool swimming. Unlike his teammates, he yearned to feel the freedom in every stroke while swimming in the sea. The ocean called him well before open water swimming was still little known among the Spanish swimming community.
The combination of his two greatest passions, nature and sport, spurred him on. Pagés began to travel and explore a variety of places throughout Europe. He sought the ideal locations for open water swimming: the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, Loch Ness and the North Sea in Scotland, the Italian Coast, the Snowdonia National Park in Wales, and the Balearic Islands. He traveled and swam in cold and warm places, rough and calm locations, swimming far along scenic coastlines. But no place could match the scenic and underwater beauty of the Costa Brava. Now Pagés and his team want to share their affection and enthusiasm for this region with the rest of the global community of open water swimmers. For this reason he created SWIM THE COSTA BRAVA.
Spanish marathon swimmer Miquel Suñer Comalat has swum around the world, completing channels of the Oceans Seven and the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. But he always returns to Spain for one special event: Swim the Costa Brava. The series stops in the scenic village of l´Escala in Catalonia. The swim takes place off Cala Montgó beach, a magnificent rocky bay with crystalline turquoise waters surrounded by pines and cliffs. “Our search for a beach protected from the Tramontana wind so frequent in the Empordá has lead us to this spot of exceptional beauty,” explains Molina.
The series offers 1.5 km, 3.5 km and 6.0 km races. The two shorter distances are circular swims within the sheltered bay. The more challenging 6.0 km distance requires that the swimmers navigate around the headland. There are feed stations for the two longer distances and all swims will be supported by motorized lifeboats and kayaks.
Marnaton eDreams Cadaqués
Mauricio Prieto hosted over 700 swimmers and their family and friends at the 6th edition Marnaton eDreams Cadaqués, a beautiful 6.5 km open water swim won by the husband-and-wife duo of Damián Blaum and Esther Nuñez Morera.
Fresh off his first FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix world title and a grueling season of 8 professional marathon swimmers, Blaum was the class of the field winning in 1 hour 13 minutes. But victory was less important than participation if his humble nature, outgoing personality, and constantly wide smile were any indication. The sea swim took place in Cadaqués, a town in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. A 2+ hour drive from Barcelona, the swim is held in a small town on the Costa Brava that swells up during the weekends and summers.
Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association