Colin Hill, FINA pres correspondent

The second race of the 2019 edition of the FINA /CNSG Marathon Swim World Series is about to kick-off in the Seychelles (SEY). Both the men and women races will be held on Sunday May 12 as a total of 81 athletes (38 women, 43 men), representing 19 countries, will take the plunge in the warm waters of the West Indian Ocean.

At the press conference today (May 10), speakers reminded the audience of the country and its qualities. The Seychelles is made up of 115 granite and coral islands and is situated in the West Indian Ocean some 1500km East of mainland Africa.

Known predominately as a luxury tourist destination with some of the world’s best beaches, home to the rare hawksbill turtles and with its welcoming clear blue seas, the Seychelles provide an ideal background and optimum conditions for FINA’s most prestigious 10km circuit.

For the second consecutive year, Mahe, the largest Island, and its capital Victoria, have been chosen as the location of the second leg of the FINA Marathon Swim World Series.

Seychelles Swimming Association Chairman, Mr. David Vilot, said:

“The prestigious FINA / CNSG Marathon Swim World Series gives us a chance to showcase our wonderful island, promote tourism and encourage swimmers to travel to our world class open water swimming destination.”

“We also wanted to develop our own swimmers by having them compete on a world stage. Some of our Seychelles swimmers have already competed in international OWS events. This, along with FINA running an Officials School, has catapulted open water swimming into the public eye.”

“Finally it’s about increasing fitness and wellbeing by promoting the sport of swimming, whilst Victoria has a 50m public swimming pool. We are also running public mass participation open water swims and using the elite swimmers to meet some schools to promote activity and the sport of open water swimming.”

Chief Executive of the Seychelles Sports Council, Giovanna Rousseau, added:

“The FINA / CNSG Marathon Swimming World Series is the biggest competition we have ever hosted in the Seychelles and we feel very proud.”

Athletes that took part in today’s press conference included World champion Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA), Olympic champion Ferry Weertman (NED) and young local talents Damien Payet (SEY, 14 yrs) and Bertrand Payet (SEY, 16 yrs)

Race Statistics

1.6km loop course (6 laps = 10km total)
19 countries competing
81 athletes in total (38 women, 43 men)
Largest teams: Austria, China & Hungary