European Mare Nostrum Series to Start Saturday

With the World Trials approaching, the name “Mare Nostrum” is also in the air.  But what is this “Mare Nostrum” that everyone is talking about? Well, the Mare Nostrum is a series of swim meets in different locations around the Mediterranean held in June annually.  In 1994, Monaco (Monaco) joined forces with Barcelona (Spain) and Canet (France) to create this series.  This has become the first international circuit in the 50-meter pool. Present at previous Mare Nostrum events were Mark Spitz, Janet Evans, Ian Thorp, and Kosuke Kitajima, amongst other great swimmers.  This year, we are in for a treat as the best in the sport are lined up to swim these next few weeks.

Athletes will compete in three different countries, as stated above, over a span of three weeks.  The first stop in this circuit is Monaco, Monaco.


(Photo found on

Monaco is located on the French Riviera in Western Europe, which makes it a beautiful first stop for this tour.  The meet will be held June 8-9. Live results can be followed here from the official website.  An exceptional amount of prize money will be given at the Monaco stop. For the first World Record broken in an A final, validated by FINA, the winner will receive 15,000€ (aka: around $22,980.75!). There are also standards for other records:

  • European Records broken: 3.000€ or ($4,596.15)
  • Mare Nostrum Records broken: 600€ or ($919.23)
  • Meet Records (Monaco) broken: 600€ or ($919.23)

In Monaco, there will be a total of 50,000€ rewarded (or a whopping $76,602.50 US!).

For more information about this meet, visit Monaco’s official Mare Nostrum page. Though it’s mostly in French, Google Chrome does give the option to Translate the page for you, thank goodness.


The second stop on this tour is Barcelona, Spain.

(Photo found on the Barcelona International Trophy website)

As the equivalent to USA’s New York City (the city that never sleeps), Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain behind Madrid. Along with the Mare Nostrum, Barcelona has been the host of the 1992 Olympic Games, the 2003 FINA World Championships, and will be the host for the upcoming 2013 World Championships as well.  This meet will be held June 11-12.  We will see some big names, such as Spain’s Mareia Belmonte Garcia and South Africa’s Chad le Clos, though the full list of registered swimmers and their events can be found here.

Trophies and Medals will be awarded to the top three swimmers in each event.

For more information on the Barcelona stop, visit the official website here.  Like Monaco’s site, this is not in English.  Google Translate IS able to translate whole websites to English, though, so never fear!


Our last stop on the Mare Nostrum tour is Canet-en-Roussillon, France. (Or just Canet, France for short.)

premiers inscrits /1st subscribers 2013

(Photo found on Canet’s main page for Mare Nostrum.)

This year will mark the 26th Anniversary for the International Swim Meet in Canet.  On June 15-16, more than 355 athletes from 26 countries on 5 continents will come together to compete in the one thing they love: swimming. Canet is located in southern France and will be the last stop before swimmers travel back to Barcelona for World Championships.  Amongst the group of swimmers, we’ll be seeing Japan’s Kenta Ito, le Clos, Belmonte Garcia, and New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders.

A start list of all of the swimmers can be found here: START LIST CANET 2013 (1)

More information about Canet, including event line-up, can be found here. Again, the website may be in French, but Google Translate is a beautiful, beautiful creation.

At the end of this series, a trophy will be awarded to the top male and female swimmers at the end of each meet (Monaco – Barcelona – Canet). At each meet, and for each swimmer, the best performance will be considered (not taking into consideration stroke or distance).

Men and Women can receive up to:

  • First Place – 7000€ or $10724.35
  • Second Place – 2000€ or $3064.10
  • Third Place – 1000€ or $1532.05
  • Fourth Place – 500€ or $766.03

These awards will be presented at Gala dinners on the last day of competition. More information on this award system can be found here.

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11 years ago

It seems many top-class swimmers have signed up for the series! Very interesting to see how e.g. Kromowidjojo and Muffat are doing at the moment; or can we already declare Cate Campbell as the winner of sprint freestyle events.

Is every pool in the Mare-Nostrum series an outdoor pool? Somehow these fine outdoor arenas in warm climates seem to create a much better atmosphere than gloomy and temporary indoor-pool solutions built in multi-purpose arenas, such as at the short-course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

Just look at the arena at long-course World Championships in 2009, Rome. What a great atmosphere and warm evening under the beatiful Mediterranean sunset. Barcelona had all the possibilities to make use of its own advantages… Read more »

11 years ago

Mare Nostrum has always been my favourite swim meets.

So many great performances from swimming legends throughout the years!

bobo gigi
11 years ago

Great names with Chad le Clos, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Camille Muffat and many others! Great meets to wait until the American trials.
And about the websites in French, Miss Zimcosky, learn French, learn French and you will not need Google Translate! I’m sure you can very quickly speak French much better than our last president could speak English.

Giorgio Battistello
Reply to  bobo gigi
11 years ago

Ah oui… Parlez-vous français?

Gorgio Battistello
11 years ago

Well… The first picture is the pool of Berlin.. so not very linked to a Mediterranean tour! 😉

Mark Spitz never attended a Mare Nostrum event, you must be thinking of Alex Popov who broke the 100 free world record in Monaco in June 1994, this record was beaten at the 2000 Olympics.

Also, I do not remember having seen Janet Evans there.

Reply to  Gorgio Battistello
11 years ago

I believe that Spitz and Evans swam at the meets before the series was officially formed into its current form in 1994 (it was the Mediterranean Grand Prix in 1992, and the meets existed before then.)

About Kelsey Zimcosky

"Once a swimmer, always a swimmer" is the motto that Kelsey Zimcosky lives by.  Though she could not compete after 10 years in the sport due to a shoulder injury, she has been unable to stay away from the water. While it is strange watching the sport from the deck, …

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