Behind the Goggles of UltraSwim 33.3: Introduction

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Final preparations are underway for UltraSwim 33.3, a thrilling multi-day open-water swimming race series set to challenge the limits of international participants and create life-changing experiences over four days and six stages. The event will take place from today, September 29 to October 2, in Montenegro.

To celebrate our partnership with UltraSwim33.3 we have created Behind the Goggles, a series of stories that will explore the inner thoughts and feelings of the swimmers as they push themselves to their limits. But first, before we publish our first story, we’d like to tell you a little about the event taking place this weekend…

How Does It Work?

The event consists of a new swim race format, positioned between the many one-day 10km marathons or shorter races and the super-long distance challenge swims, such as the English Channel. Indeed, UltraSwim 33.3 is inspired by the iconic distance between England and France, with swimmers aiming to complete the equivalent Dover-Calais distance of 33.3km, spread over four days and six swims. But they will do so in a ‘race’ format in warmer and more colourful waters than the English Channel.

The heart of the scenic route designed to take swimmers through the most beautiful parts of the Montengrian coastline, will start at the Lazure Marina in Herceg Novi and over the course of four days will continue through the picturesque location of Portonovi, past the iconic Mamula Island, the Blue Cave and Lustica Bay. 

Among the participants is Andy Donaldson, who recently set three World Records in the “Oceans Seven” a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel swims which is the swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. It includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokaʻi Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar. He recorded the fastest time to complete the challenge - 355 days; the fastest cumulative swim time - 63 hours 2 minutes; and the fastest crossing of the Cook Strait - 4 hours 33 mins.

The event is designed around inclusivity, you don’t have to be the world’s strongest swimmer to take part, but equally if you perform at a high level, it’s an opportunity like no other to discover beautiful locations whilst pushing yourself to complete the iconic crossing distance of the English Channel. 

Over 120 swimmers from 23 countries will take part, including our very own Niklas Hedegaard. "It's so much fun" Niklas mentioned, "I didn't know it was going to be this much fun, obviously hard too. Having a break in the middle definitely helped."

If you weren’t able to sign up this year, you’re in luck… next year’s calendar has just been announced. Click here to sign up for 2024. 

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