If you ever wanted to swim in an atoll, head to Bora Bora.
Race director Stephan Lambert, the event has grown since 2000 into an open water celebration of sporting excellence and Tahitian culture. 2010 marked the introduction of the Bora Bora 5km swim, which is fast becoming one of the festival’s highlights given the recent global explosion of open water swimming.
In a unique effort to make the 5K race unpredictable and challenging every year, Lambert has insisted on changing the course each time the event is held, thereby leveling the playing field and discouraging returning swimmers from having a strategic advantage. Each year the race distance will also increase by 1K (making 2011’s event officially 6K).
“This is one of the most unique and exciting events I’ve ever been a part of,” says last year’s 5K winner Alex Kostich who shares his time and talents with other participants, especially those in the next generation.
“While the event is a great racing experience in and of itself, what I love about the Bora Bora Liquid Festival is the celebratory nature of the gathering; its produced by and populated by people who grew up around and have a deep affinity for the ocean.
While the events are all highly competitive and incredibly exciting, there’s an undercurrent of passion that infuses the whole week which you don’t necessarily see anywhere else. It’s a stunning location of course, but more importantly its a celebration of all things aquatic-and to my knowledge that’s never been done before.”
Sprinting off-shore into the crystalline turquoise waters of Bora Bora’s picturesque lagoon, swimmers may encounter schools of stingrays and stunning coral formations, perhaps looping through the island’s world famous over-water bungalows and tiny atolls. Upon completion, race participants are encouraged to stay for the duration of the festival and partake in the other sports while enjoying the event’s wall-to-wall roster of festive barbecues, adventure tours, live performances or relaxing days at the beach.
In addition to the 5k swim and open water swimming technique clinics before and after the race, the Bora Bora Liquid Festival includes a 55K surfski division, a waterman triathlon, stand up paddle (SUP), Va’a canoeing and relay events.
Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association