Where Adventure and Camaraderie Converge in Open Water: The Unique Experience of UltraSwim 33.3®

Where Adventure and Camaraderie Converge in Open Water: The Unique Experience of UltraSwim 33.3®

Why 33.3km? Unveiling the UltraSwim 33.3® Challenge

In the world of open water swimming, a new and exciting event has emerged: the UltraSwim 33.3®. This unique category of swimming challenge is defined as a multi-day timed swim, spanning a total distance of at least 33.3 kilometers—the theoretical shortest route across the English Channel from Dover to Calais.

Over the course of four days, participants engage in between 5 and 7 swims, pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones. However, the event remains accessible to any competent and determined open water swimmer, making it a thrilling opportunity for both seasoned athletes and aspiring enthusiasts. With a variety of swim distances and formats, encompassing diverse open water conditions ranging from serene calm to the vast expanse of the open sea, this challenge is supported by a host of professional services, all taking place along a captivating point-to-point course. And as an added highlight, participants are always treated to a 10-kilometer marathon swim.

The Distinctiveness of the Multi-Day Format

What sets the UltraSwim 33.3® apart from other swim races and challenges around the world is its multi-day format. While there are numerous incredible one-day events that attract thousands of swimmers annually, this challenge takes a significant step further. Spreading the 33.3-kilometer distance across four days fundamentally transforms the event experience, fostering deep bonds and camaraderie among participants. The visionary behind the UltraSwim 33.3®, who was also instrumental in creating the Haute Route series of amateur bike timed challenges known for their seven days of mountain climbs, understands the power of multi-day endeavors.

“One-day events leave people content, but they often miss out on the profound connections that form during multi-day challenges,” explains the founder. “Through shared struggles and the push beyond comfort zones, competitors support and motivate each other, forging new friendships along the way. At the end of each day, they come together to share experiences in a social environment, only to rise again the next day and embark on another leg of the journey. The sense of shared experience is incredibly strong and sets this event apart from everything that has come before it.”

Pushing Boundaries and Embracing the Beautiful

A common question arises among prospective participants: How skilled of a swimmer do I need to be? The answer lies not solely in one’s swimming prowess but also in determination and resilience. To comfortably tackle the UltraSwim 33.3®, one should be proficient in front crawl and maintain a speed of at least 2.5 kilometers per hour for a distance of 3 kilometers. While the idea of swimming 33.3 kilometers in a timed challenge may initially seem daunting, this format proves highly accessible to most competent open water swimmers. It is worth noting that many participants in the 2022 test event had never swum more than 3 kilometers in open water before, yet they successfully embraced the challenge.

For those who prefer a gentler introduction to the UltraSwim 33.3®, the DUO RELAY offers an excellent option. Swimmers can share the distance with a partner over the first three days, with no single swim exceeding 4 kilometers. On the final day, both swimmers come together to conquer the full 5 kilometers. This collaborative approach serves as an ideal stepping stone for those aspiring to eventually complete the full 33.3-kilometer solo swim.

Additionally, participants can choose the TEAM option for a group experience. With cumulative time used for ranking, swimmers have the opportunity to support their teammates while still aiming for a personal solo time. The camaraderie and shared triumphs in this format only enhance the overall event experience.

More Than Just a Race

The UltraSwim 33.3® is not merely a race; it is a holistic experience that transcends the boundaries of swimming. What truly sets this challenge apart is the comprehensive support and amenities provided to participants. The organizers strive to ensure that participants can “swim like a pro,” taking care of every detail along the way. From organizing transfers to arranging post-race massages, they leave no stone unturned. Additionally, participants benefit from exceptional race management support in the water, creating an environment where they can focus on the thrill of the swim.

Regardless of the chosen package level, all participants are treated to a premium experience both on and off the water. The accommodations and support provided are of the highest quality. However, for those seeking an even more indulgent weekend getaway, the Ultra+ package offers a luxury hotel at the venue itself, along with the added benefits of 1:1 video analysis by world-leading coaches and a massage on each race day (1-3). For those with limited time before the event and a desire for a meticulously managed experience, the Ultra++ package caters to their needs, ensuring perfection for both swimmers and their families.

Guests and partners are also warmly welcomed at every package level, with specific options tailored to their preferences. This allows them to participate in the event, join finish line lunches, and feel connected to the overall experience, while still having ample time to enjoy their holiday with various activities.

Join the UltraSwim 33.3® and Discover a Life-Affirming Challenge

Mark Turner