It doesn’t quite feel like it, but summer is almost here. Every year there are a number of open water swim events and swimming competitions held so here’s a list and some information about each one.
Wisdom Action Cup
First up is the Wisdom Action Cup. Held every year in Taipei, the location is always different and this year it’s at the Science and Technology University 科技大學 on Keelung Road. The competition is runs over two days with the adults competing in the morning and kids in the afternoon. You can take part in 2 races and one relay. Deadline for entries is April 8th. More info here (in English).
The first open water swim is on April 24th in Nanwan 南灣 just a bit north of Kending 墾丁. It’s supposed to be 3km but I’d say it’s more like 2. Swimmers head directly out to sea and, at the end of a string of boats, turn around and come back on the other side. More info here (Chinese only). Applications need to be in by April 8th so get your skates on!
Next in the north of Taiwan is the Lanyang Swim. This one is held on the beach by Wushigang 烏石港, near Toucheng 頭成 in Yilan 宜蘭. Unlike the Nanwan swim, you follow the coastline along and this one actually is 3km long. Though most people start to get out a few hundreds short of the finish as the surfers are usually in the water by mid-morning. More info here (Chinese only). Applications must be in by April 30th and the event is held on June 12th.
Normally around July there is a swim held in the Shimen Reservoir but it would appear that complaints about swimmers affecting the cleanliness of the water seem to have led to the event being cancelled. Apparently no-one is bothered about the dozens of boats that cruise around the reservoir daily. If anything changes, I’ll add it here.
Sun Moon Lake
The final open water swim of the summer is the Sun Moon Lake Swim 日月潭and this year it will be held on September 4th. It’s the most popular swim and last year attracted over 27,000 participants. It’s a gorgeous place to swim, but with that many people entering, it’s impossible to really get going in the water. It’s also reported to be 3km but is more like 1.5. UPDATE – The swim can be found here
For all of the open water swims, you need to take with you a torpedo buoy with you. It’s annoying to swim with but there are a lot of people who take part in these events despite being unable to swim so the organisers deem it necessary. They are usually available at the event for around 600NT or alternatively a lot of swimming shops/hiking shops sell them too.
You need to get insurance before entering the open water swims and that is a real pain in the arse. Get a Taiwanese friend to help out. You just need the basic travel insurance and it shouldn’t cost much more than $100.