Monday, November 20, 2017

Island Resorts

Australia: Swim to Win on Heron Island

Taking a dip in the gorgeous waters off Queensland’s Heron Island hardly seems like an arduous task, but this year, the resort is hosting a Great Barrier Reef race to remember.

(Image Courtesy of Vladi Private Islands)

Both elite and up-and-coming swimmers from around the world will face tough competition this year at Heron Island; from October 27th to 31st, the luxurious resort will be hosting a race around the Great Barrier Reef that will draw top athletes to Queensland’s sunny shores. As an added bonus, there will also be a brief 800m swim out to the wreck of the HMCS Protector, which was brought to the island in 1945 as a unique diving attraction. The 40-acre Heron, which is owned by Delaware North Australia Parks and Resorts, is aiming to make the swim an annual event.

(Image Courtesy of VPI)

For some swimmers, a visit to Down Under will be a welcome change of venue. Competitors in the race will be intimately familiar with far chillier waters, as many will have taken part in Northern Hemisphere events like the ‘Big Scottish Swim’ or the ‘Great North Swim’, which can feature achingly cold temperatures below 16C.  Making a splash at Heron’s contest will be far more pleasant – in October, the aquamarine waters of the Barrier rarely fall below 23C, and can be bath-water warm at 27C.

The race, and 4 days filled with swimming–oriented festivities, is being established with the help of www.OceanSwims.com, an Australian organization devoted to all things related to the challenging art of swimming in the sea, from advice on training, to exotic tours, to gear like goggles, flippers and other ocean-going necessities. Other tours held by the group include swims in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Hawaii.

As part of the inaugural Heron Island Swim, OceanSwims will be offering a free clinic with Graeme Brewer, a renowned ocean swimmer and a leading Australian high-performance trainer. Hailing from New South Wales, Mr. Brewer has had a long and storied career in swimming – in 1980, he took home the bronze at the Moscow Olympics, and counts 13 titles for Australia among his many wins. Together with his wife, Narelle, he currently runs a swimming school based in Sydney.

(Image Courtesy of VPI)

The high-level athletes arriving next month at Heron will need all the help they can get to take home 1st place – while the waters may be balmy, the race will be tough going even for seasoned veterans. The 3km path will circumnavigate the island along the Great Barrier Reef, in waters that may be perfectly still one minute, and filled with choppy waves the next. Heron Reef, just to the east of the island, also has the highest concentration of marine life in the Barrier, including 900 of 1,500 total fish species. When it comes to Heron’s contest, the most difficult thing for swimmers may be not be the race itself, but not getting distracted by the wonders under the sea!

View the official Heron Island press release: Link

Read more about Heron Island Resort on Vladi Private Islands: Link

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