FINA Communication Department

On July 5, 2008, the fourth leg of the 2008 FINA Open Water Swimming Grand Prix took place on July 5, 2008 with the staging of a 33.3km race from Capri (Lido Le Ondine) – Napoli (arrival in front of Castel dell’Ovo). It had a prize purse of US$20,000. As reported by FINA delegate Flavio Bomio, the weather for the race was good, although the sea was rough. Water temperature was approximately 28°C and air temperature was 38°C.

Due to the choppy water, the race was tough. From the beginning, Mr. Bomio reports, a pack of the top men swimmers formed, followed by a pack of the leading women a considerable distance behind. The rest of the filed were spread out far behind from the first hour of the event. Overall, the race took place correctly and was well-directed. The initial finishes were clear and easily visible and the number of spectators along the final channel is estimated to be from 800-1,200 people.
Far behind however, the situation was more difficult. The sea conditions made the swimming tiring and safety assistance was provided by the Guardia Costiera of Napoli. While the winner (Stéphane Gomez of France) completed the race in 7hours and 33minutes, and the first-place woman (Britta Kamrau-Korestein of Germany) finished in 7hours and 56minutes, the last place swimmer had to swim for closer to 91/2hours! Five swimmers had to withdraw.

Mr. Bomio also reports that sponsorship and media coverage of this finely-executed event was excellent (media bodies on-site included RAI, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Il Mattino and other regional newspapers). Finally, the event took place as part of an entire week dedicated to aquatic sports, which assumed great meaning for the city of Naples, which has been receiving negative press coverage of late. Full results of this race are posted on www.fina.org. The next Grand Prix race (of 19km) takes place in Sabac, Serbia on July 13, 2008.