Racers at the start of the race on Sunday, May 26, 2013 Maho Bay, St. John, USVI (Photo/Thomas Layer).
Imagine the Caribbean sun, azure water, white sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs that await competitors as they swim through the pristine Virgin Islands National Park waters. Described by Swimming World Magazine as “the most beautiful open water swim in the world”, the Beach-to-Beach Power Swim has also recently been ranked in the top 20 on two reputable open water swimming websites Best 100 Open Water Swims in the World. This year’s event will be the largest ever, with 350 competitors! Hosted by Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, the event raises money for preservation, conservation and education programs in Virgin Islands National Park.
The Beach-to-Beach Power Swim contains four simultaneous events:
- Short course(solo) from Maho Beach to Cinnamon Beach (1 mile)
- Intermediate course (solo) from Maho Beach to Trunk Beach (2 ¼ miles)
- Long course(solo) from Maho Beach to Hawksnest Beach (3 ½ miles)
- Long course(three-person relay teams) from Maho Beach to Hawksnest Beach. The relay team transition points will be at Cinnamon Beach and Trunk Beach.
In each of the events, swimmers may compete using snorkels, fins, and/or exposure suits in a separate category of “assisted” swimmers. However, swim paddles, webbed (training) gloves and other swim aides are not permitted. To help swimmers train for the event, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park has scheduled three practice swims:
Sunday, April 16th: Maho to Cinnamon Just Passed!
Sunday, April 30th: Maho to Cinnamon and Trunk
Sunday, May 14th: Maho to Hawksnest
The practice swims will all start at 8:30 am (please note that on race day the swim will start at 8:00 am) from the north end of Maho Beach. As always, safety is of utmost importance and Friends will have kayaks, SUPs, and safety boats accompanying the swimmers. For swimmers coming from St. Thomas, they should take the ferry that leaves Red Hook at 7:30 am. The Friends will have a vehicle (van) meet the ferry and transport swimmers to Maho.
Please visit www.friendsvinp.org/swim for complete information on this event. There are reduced registration fees for swimmers 17 years and younger; as well as reduced registration fees for early registration (early registration ends May 5th).
Swimmers can register by phone by calling 340-779-4940 or in person by visiting the following locations:
- The Friends of the Park Stores: Mongoose Junction & National Park Service Visitor Center, Cruz Bay
- Connections – Cruz Bay, St. John
- Caribbean Surf Co. – Havensight and Red Hook, St. Thomas
- SCUBA – Christiansted, St. Croix
Join Race for a Reason to support the “Learn to Swim” Program and other projects and activities that Preserve, Protect and Educate in our park. Swim for FREE when you raise at least $250! Sign-up as an individual fundraiser or together with friends and form a team of up to 10 fundraisers swimming any length of the race, non-swimmers are welcome too!
All Race for a Reason participants receive a limited edition Beach-to-Beach Power Swim cap and our top fundraiser in each category (Individual, Team and Power Swim 12 Yr. Veteran) attends our Power Swim After-party catamaran trip to Jost van Dyke for FREE. Visit www.friendsvinp.org/race-for-a-reason for details.
Joe Kessler, president of the Friends and the race director, reminds interested swimmers that registration will be limited to 350 swimmers, the largest Power Swim to date, and typically sells out. Registration has been very strong so far, so please register soon to be sure you get a place, he reminds those that are interested in participating.