The 8th annual Sheko Challenge and world’s only Trisolothon will be the first sports event in Hong Kong where zero plastic water bottles will be used for the athletes.

Filtered water will be supplied by Life Solutions in BAMBOA’s re-useable bamboo cups (shown below), meaning swimmers will get cold, fresh water without leaving waste plastic behind. This is groundbreaking for a sports event.

The Sheko Challenge is a 2.2 km beach-to-beach race where some of Hong Kong’s top swimmers, triathletes, adventure racers and water lovers swim from Big Wave Bay in Sheko to the Back Beach.

In the Trisolothon, swimmers will team up with a runner and a paddler, all of whom start at the same time from different locations, and converge on the same finish line together. The race promotes open water swimming and sports in Hong Kong, along with a strong ocean conservation message.

Race director Doug Woodring recommended, “It is time for all of us organizing events to step up to the plate and do what is right. There is no longer an excuse for us all not to make some creative solutions here.”

Give cash, not trash seems to be the mantra of the aquapreneur Woodring vis-a-vis his sponsors.

Spectators can watch Sheko Challengers hit the finish line on July 14th at Back Beach in Sheko, Rocky Bay with food, music and beach fun after the event. For the first time, ocean water polo will also be played after the races, and spectators are encouraged to participate.

We are pleased that this event has been such a success over the years, and a pillar of the open water swim schedule in Hong Kong,” said Woodring. “As users of the ocean, and the environment, athletes cherish clean places to train and compete in their sports. Where it is fine to think that bottles are being recycled after races, unless there is a systematic collection system, which usually there is not, then it is not guaranteed that bottles are put in the right place. We are excited to be hosting this first sports event in Hong Kong where no plastic drink bottles are used, and we hope that other event organizers will follow our lead.”

Since 2004, the Sheko Challenge has been a fundraising event to support the Ocean Recovery Alliance with their global efforts and WWF with their local efforts to heal the ocean.

This is a unique evolution for the open water swimming world,” remarked Steven Munatones. “And is something that any event could do to help reduce its footprint on our environment.”

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association