The excitement was palpable at Beau Vallon Beach on Saturday, April 13, 2019, almost a month before the Seychelles hosts for the second consecutive year the FINA CNSG Open Water World Series 2019.
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This year’s event is being held in collaboration with Chinese based company CNSG and Seychelles is once again the second leg in the series of eight.
The organizing committee’s partners including the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), officials and local swimmers gathered at Beau Vallon Beach where a trial run was organized to test out the facilities, the technical requirements and of course, the local swimming talents.
Principal Secretary for Sports, Fabien Palmyre present at the trial run mentioned his satisfaction to see that the FINA CNSG Open Water World Series 2019 is materializing with the support of all local partners.
“I am excited to again, be part of such an event. I am proud of all our young swimmers who have made an effort to be present today. I am grateful to all the partners and volunteers and I am definitely looking forward to this year’s event,” said PS Palmyre.
15 swimmers competed in the Beau Vallon waters in three main races, 2.5 km, 5 km and 7.5 km. According to the Seychelles Swimming Association (SSA) officials, the reasoning behind the distances selected is to enable the swimmers to test out their abilities to see which category would suit them best for the May 11, 2019 event, which will be opened for the public and other swimming enthusiasts.
The 2019 Mass Open Water event will take place on Saturday May 11, one day prior to the Elite event.
The May 11 Mass event will comprise of four distances, Group A (500 m), Group B (1 km), Group C (3 km) and Group D (5 km). The only age restriction will be for Group A where students aged 13 years and under can participate. The others will be open to all ages and there will be two races, a male and a female race for each distance.
“Mass participation is crucial in making the Mass event a success and the Seychelles Swimming Association is calling on all swimmers to register for the event,” said David Vidot, SSA Chairperson.
Mr. Vidot indicated that the forms for registration are available on the SSA Facebook page and website. The deadline to return the registration form to the Swimming Association is May 1, 2019.
The Seychelles is honored this year to have four Seychellois swimmers qualified to take part in the Elite 10 km race, which will take place on Sunday May 12, 2019.
Joining the 2018 swimmers, brothers Bertrand and Damien Payet, will be Matthew Bachmann and Alain Vidot, both of whom completed the 7.5 km race finishing second and third consecutively behind Damien who crossed the finishing line on Saturday first.
The Elite event which is broadcast to a global audience via the FINA network, exposes Seychelles in another light, similar to that of the annual Eco-Marathon event, which strengthens Seychelles’ potential as a Sports Tourism destination.
“It is such a privilege to be hosting the event again on our shores; as announced earlier this year, STB is committed to promote Seychelles as an ideal sports destination. Our collaboration with Seychelles Swimming Association and other partners for FINA CNSG Open Water World Series 2019 is an ideal platform for us to showcase our beautiful destination and its pristine waters,” said Mrs. Sherin Francis, Seychelles Tourism Board Chief Executive.
In May 2018, open water swimming made its debut in Seychelles, as the small island nation became the second host in the FINA World Cup Series 2018. The iconic Beau Vallon beach was the chosen venue to launch Seychelles in the open water swimming world, making it the first country in Africa to host an event of this caliber.
As part of the FINA mandate, the host country is required to host a mass event alongside the elite 10k m event, in order to encourage and mobilize the local community to appreciate and take part in the sport.