The 4th annual Turks & Caicos Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim is coming up on July 6th.

Big red starfish, huge conch shells, and the occasional eagle ray gliding along the bottom are potential distractions for the participants of the fourth annual Race for the Conch Eco-SeaSwim. The event features 2.4-mile and 1-mile races, as well as a 100-meter Children’s Swim. The starts are signaled by the blowing of a conch shell. The beautiful trophy prizes are locally carved and polished conch shells.

To keep the fun going even after the swimming is done, the awards ceremony is held at sunset on the beach followed by lively beach party with local music.

The calm waters in July are perfect for newcomers anxious to give the sport a try in a benign environment. But the event offers plenty of challenge for experienced swimmers and consistently attracts world class competitors. Marcos Díaz, the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year from the Dominican Republic, blazed across through the arches of the beach finish the 2.4 mile in 42:20 to win, this second straight victory.

In creative twist to open water swim racing, the 1-mile event features a “Resort Cup” where 3-person teams from the hotels on island compete for their own special conch trophy.

The Children’s Swim brings out youngsters ages 12 and under in the fun 100-meter course. This swim has become an integral part of the “Race for the Conch” as it introduces kids to open water swimming and provides an organized forum and safe environment for them to participate and gain confidence.

Race Directors Ben Stubenberg and Chloe Zimmermann point out, “It is so gratifying to get repeat swimmers coming from America, Canada, and other parts of the Caribbean region, as well as a strong showing by locals. It’s especially fun to have tourists discover the race after arriving on vacation and enthusiastically signing up on the beach on race day. They very much become part of the island scene and want to come back to the beautiful, clear turquoise waters of Grace Bay, Providenciales.”

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