American Olympian Alex Meyer is flying from Boston to Perth to participate in the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series Open Water Challenge this week. And he has many good reasons to do so.
The Open Water Challenge is going to be an extravaganza with plenty of prize money offered to not only the young pros who are gathering from around the world, but also to masters swimmers and adults of all ages.
The Open Water Challenge has effectively reset the clock with significantly raised expectations. In the afterglow of the 2012 London Olympics, Swimming Australia sanctioned the multi-race open water event in order to elevate the sport in Australia to the next level. Together with title sponsor BHP Billiton and Eventscorp, the events division of Tourism Western Australia, the Aquatic Super Series Open Water Challenge is setting the bar…high. Very high in terms of financial resources, organization, media attention and government support.
AUD$15,000 worth (US$15,804) high in the case of the overall male and female winners.
On the men’s elite side, it should be a great battle between Meyer and Australian Rhys Mainstone on January 20th in Perth, Western Australia. The race could go down to the last stroke. But the race will also be competitive and memorable at all levels. Swimmers will race over a 2.5 km loop course in the Swan River for over AUD$100,000 (US$105,360) in total cash prizes offered to top swimmers ages from 18 – 99 years, enabling everyone to have a chance at the big money in Perth’s Swam River.
In an innovative schedule, the open water events will be hosted and marketed together with a world-class pool swimming competition, pitting the Australians vs. the Chinese and South Africans as well as two international water polo matches and a series of elite and mass participation open water races. This combination of world-class aquatic stars and disciplines will effectively leverage the investments in time and resources made.
The prize money includes the following:
$15,000 for the men’s 10 km open
$15,000 for the women’s 10 km open
$4,000 for the 18-24 male 10 km
$4,000 for the 18-24 female 10 km
$4,000 for the 25-40 male 10 km
$4,000 for the 25-40 female 10 km
$4,000 for the 41-55 male 10 km
$4,000 for the 41-55 female 10 km
$4,000 for the 56-99 male 10 km
$4,000 for the 56-99 female 10 km
$2,500 for the 18-24 male 5 km
$2,500 for the 18-24 female 5 km
$2,500 for the 25-40 male 5 km
$2,500 for the 25-40 female 5 km
$2,500 for the 41-55 male 5 km
$2,500 for the 41-55 female 5 km
$2,500 for the 56-99 male 5 km
$2,500 for the 56-99 female 5 km
$1,500 for the 18-24 male 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 18-24 female 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 25-40 male 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 25-40 female 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 41-55 male 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 41-55 female 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 56-99 male 2.5 km
$1,500 for the 56-99 female 2.5 km
$1,000 for the 18-24 male 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 18-24 female 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 25-40 male 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 25-40 female 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 41-55 male 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 41-55 female 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 56-99 male 1.25 km
$1,000 for the 56-99 female 1.25 km
Prize pack for the 18-24 male 500m
Prize pack for the 18-24 female 500m
Prize pack for the 25-40 male 500m
Prize pack for the 25-40 female 500m
Prize pack for the 41-55 male 500m
Prize pack for the 41-55 female 500m
Prize pack for the 56-99 male 500m
Prize pack for the 56-99 female 500m
Prizes for Juniors 17 years and under in the 500m, 1.25 km, 2.5 km, 5 km, 10 km
$6,000 donated to charity for Team Challenge
Greg Towle, former Swimming Australia national swim team coach explains, “In this inaugural year, we offer a complimentary entry to any elite open water swimmer who is a member of a national governing body recognized by FINA. Interested governing bodies, coaches or individuals can nominate swimmers by contacting Liz Avery. Please visit www.aquaticsuperseries.com.au for more information, including race times, course maps, and other events for non-elite athletes.”
Back in 1991, Western Australia similarly uplifted the sport with its inaugural integration of the 25 km race at the FINA World Swimming Championships that drew tens of thousands to Swam River. The event was won by Shelley Taylor-Smith and Chad Hundeby. 22 years later, Taylor-Smith is still around in Perth and is looking forward to another upgrade in the sport. “ am very excited by this inaugural event where I won gold for Australia and became the inaugural FINA World Champion. The event being held in the picturesque Swan River, the heart and soul of the City of Perth and host to the FINA Worlds 1991, Masters Swimming Worlds 2008 and multiple Triathlon World Championships. As head coach of the Champion Mindset Rotto Channel 2013 Squad, my 30 swimmers will use this 10 km event for preparation for February 23rd Rottnest. The privilege to swim with the elite has them very excited.”
Australia raised and exceeded expectations in the open water swimming world in 1991. BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series Open Water Challenge will do so again this coming weekend.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source