Mare Nostrum is a fast-paced, monetarily-enticing series of swim meets through the Mediterranean. The first stop came in Monaco over the weekend, and the circuit is moving straight through to its next stop, Canet-en-Roussillon, France on Wednesday and Thursday.
Though this stop of the circuit will not include female money-earning leader Katinka Hosszu, there are still loaded fields in each event as some of the top British, Canadian and Polish athletes will make their Mare Nostrum debuts in Canet.
Canet-en-Roussillon stop – Mare Nostrum
The series is a whirlwind tour – last weekend’s Monaco stop (June 7-8) was followed by a swing through Canet-en-Roussillon, France on Wednesday and Thursday (June 11-12), with the series wrapping up this Saturday and Sunday in Barcelona, Spain (June 14-15). The circuit has a huge monetary pull, as 50,000€ (or about $68,085 in American dollars) is up for grabs at the Monaco stop alone. In addition, the top 4 overall finishers on the circuit will win prize money, starting at 7,000€ ($9531) for the top male and female. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Canet prize distribution:
For each event:
- 1st: 330€ ($449)
- 2nd: 180€ ($245)
- 3rd: 90€ ($122)
There are also bonuses available for record-breaking swims:
- Canet Meet record: 300€ ($408)
- Mare Nostrum Series record: 600€ ($817)
- European Record: 1500€ ($2042)
- World Record: 9000€ ($12256)
Finally, at the end of the series, the top four finishers for both men and women receive even bigger prizes:
- 1st place: 7000€ ($9532)
- 2nd place: 2000€ ($2723)
- 3rd place: 1000€ ($1361)
- 4th place: 500€ ($680)
An explanation of the prizes awarded can be found here, courtesy of the Mare Nostrum website.
Storylines to Watch
1. The British are coming! The biggest boost to Canet’s lineup nationality-wise is a huge portion of the Great Britain national team that includes all sorts of big names. Most notable are sprinters Francesca Halsall and Ben Proud, but the British crew also includes Jazz Carlin, Lauren Quigley, Aimee Willmott, Liam Tancock and Ross Murdoch among others.
2. Le Clos branches out: South African Chad le Clos has become perhaps the most feared butterflyer in the world, and he’s also developing into a big-time IMer. But he’ll continue to expand his event repertoire in Canet, adding a pair of races we don’t often see him swim. Le Clos will swim the 100 free and 200 back in addition to his usual 100 and 200 flys, and he holds the top seed in all four races. He’ll have some serious competition, though, from Nathan Adrian in the 100 free and Ryosuke Irie in the 200 back. All the same, it’ll be interesting to see how le Clos stacks up against some of the best in the world in those off events.
3. Tough backstrokes get even tougher: We noted how loaded the men’s backstrokes were in Monaco, and the addition of Polish National Record-holder Radoslaw Kawecki only makes things more complicated. Kawecki is a three-time European Champion and finished fourth at the London Olympics in the 200 back, but he’s also coming off of a disappointing disqualification at Polish nationals over the weekend. Also in those backstroke races are Irie, American Ryan Murphy, Brit Liam Tancock and Frenchman Jeremy Stravius.
4. No Hosszu opens door for Danes: With female money-leader Katinka Hosszu taking this stop off, the door is open for the next few swimmers to pass her up on the money lists. Closest behind her at this point are Danish stars Jeanette Ottesen and Rikke Moller Pedersen. Ottesen, a butterflyer and freestyler, would seem to have more events to make money in, though Moller Pedersen looks like a heavy favorite in all three breaststroking distances.