FINA, the governing body for many of the world’s aquatic sports, has announced an inaugural list of stops for its 2018 open water swimming series, as well as a rebrand for both the 10km series and the more open-distance meets.
The series consisting of the 10km distance, formerly known as the FINA 10km Swimming World Cup, has been renamed the FINA MArathon Swim World Series. The Grand Prix, which included typically much-longer races, often in rivers or other moving bodies of water, has been named the FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series.
Some of the events will be familiar, such as Balatonfured in Hungary, which hosted last year’s World Championships events in open water swimming, and Lac Megantic in Canada. Others, however, are new to the circuit, including Chun’An China, and the first-ever official FINA event hosted in the Seychelles. Seychelloes is located in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar, and has the smallest population of any sovereign African country with 94,228 residents spread across 115 islands. The country has seen a recent economic boom after diversifying its tourism-dependence into farming, fishing, and especially offshore banking, but still has a distinct income inequality between its poor and rich – among the worst in the world.
Initial stops for both series, sometimes in lock-step, have been announced (with some dates and locations to be confirmed). There have also been several “Open Challenge” meets, which are less elite and designed to reach a broader open water audience. More stops for the UltraMarathon series are expected.
2018 Marathon Swim Series Schedule (As of Posting)
- Doha (QAT) – March 17 (OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Maspalomas (ESP) – May 5 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Seychelles (SEY) – May 20 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Setubal (POR) – June 9 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Balatonfured (HUN) – June 16 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Lac St. Jean (CAN) – July 26 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Lac Megantic (CAN) – August 11 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Chun-An (CHN) – September 16 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Taiwan (TPE) – September 22 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
- Abu Dhabi (UAE) – November 24 (Elite and OPEN CHALLENGE)
2018 UltraMarathon Swim Series Schedule (As of Posting)
- Coronda Santa Fe (ARG) – February 4
- Lac St. Jean (CAN) – July 28