PR7 - First, and longest Grand Prix race on the circuit takes place Sunday
Some of the toughest open water swimmers will brave the 57km opening race of this year’s international Grand Prix circuit on Sunday, February 1 in Santa Fe-Coronda, Argentina. The annual race is also the 36th edition of the classic Santa Fe-Coronda Aquatic Marathon Swim on the rivers Coronda and Salado, with a run-time of about 8-9 hours. Winners receive a portion of in USD11,000 in prize money.
The start list for this epic swim contains some names that will elevate the level of competition. Among women the headliner is legendary Britta Kamrau-Corestein (GER), a familiar face in Santa Fe. She was absent for the last two editions, but won this race twice in 2004 and 2006, as well as taking silver in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 and bronze in 1999. Her main competitor will likely be the overall 2007 FINA Grand Prix winner Esther Nunez Morera of Spain (also the overall bronze medal winner of the 2006 World Cup). Both will face the growing talent of Linsy Heister (NED, born 1988), who was 4th in the 25km at the 2008 World Open Water Swimming Championships (Seville, ESP).
Among men there is the famous Petar Stoychev (BUL), who won the last three editions of this swim. Stoychev has achieved almost mythical status in his sport, having won eight consecutive major FINA open water world series’ since 2001! But he faces opposition, namely from 2008 Beijing Olympians Rostislav Vitek (CZE) and Damian Blaum (ARG), who will lead a host of other Argentinean swimmers eager to win at home. Andrea Volpini (ITA), highly-experienced in elite international competition, will also swim.