OWS GP 2011: Stoychev's formidable winning streak in Santa Fe

Open Water Grand Prix

The 50th Anniversary edition of the FINA Grand Prix “Maraton Acuatica Santa Fe – Coronda” saw another exciting chapter in this historic race. The competition was started in overcast and warm conditions with a pack of 20 rounding the buoy together after the short upstream section immediately following the start of the race.

After an hour of the race 20 year-old Carrizo (ARG) had broken from the pack and taken a lead of 300-400m which he maintained for a further hour through the port section of the course before hard work by a pack of seven-eight swimmers brought them back into contention.

Stoychev (BUL) and Volpini (ITA) broke from this group and swam strategically sharing the lead for a further 90 minutes before being caught by Bertola (ARG) and Biagioli (ARG). Bertola lead for a long period until six hours into the race when Biagioli staked her claim, with Bertola, Volpini and Stoychev close behind.

In the later stages, Valenti (ITA) caught the group through swimming a direct line through a bend rather than following the current of the river. The five swam a close race, with the lead changing several times.

Bertola sought advantage by swimming his own line on occasion, however the group reformed as they progressed down the river. In a sprint to the finish, Stoychev again proved victorious to gain his sixth title in this race followed a body length behind by Volpini and Valenti. Biagioli closely followed the men into the finish with a long gap to the second and third women Geijo (ARG) and Nunez (ESP).

(Courtesy of John West)