Annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim Set for Sunday, May 26

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Racers prepare for the start of the race. Sunday, May 26, 2013 Maho Bay, St. John, USVI (Photo/Thomas Layer).

Imagine the Caribbean sun, azure water, white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs that await competitors as they swim through the pristine Virgin Islands National Park (VINP) waters. Described by Swimming World Magazine as “the most beautiful open water swim in the world,” the Beach-to-Beach Power Swim has also recently been ranked in the top 20 on a reputable open water swimming website: Best 100 Open Water Swims in the World. This year’s event will be the largest ever, with 350 competitors. Hosted by Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park, the event raises money for preservation, conservation and education programs in the National Park.

The Beach-to-Beach Power Swim, scheduled for 8 a.m., Sunday, May 26, on St. John, contains four simultaneous events:
• Short course (solo) from Maho Beach to Cinnamon Beach (1 mile)
• Intermediate course (solo) from Maho Beach to Trunk Beach (2 ¼ miles)
• Long course (solo) from Maho Beach to Hawksnest Beach (3 ½ miles)
• Long course (three-person relay teams) from Maho Beach to Hawksnest Beach. The relay team transition points will be at Cinnamon Beach and Trunk Beach.

In each of the events, swimmers may compete using snorkels, fins and/or exposure suits in a separate category of “assisted” swimmers. However, swim paddles, webbed (training) gloves and other swim aides are not permitted. To help swimmers train for the event, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park has scheduled three practice swims:

Sunday, April 14: Maho to Cinnamon
Sunday, April 28: Maho to Cinnamon and Trunk
Sunday, May 12: Maho to Cinnamon, Trunk and Hawksnest

The practice swims will all start at 8:30 a.m. (please note that on race day the swim will start at 8 a.m.) from the north end of Maho Beach. As always, safety is of utmost importance and Friends will have kayaks, SUPs and safety boats accompanying the swimmers. For swimmers coming from St. Thomas, they should take the ferry that leaves Red Hook at 7:30 a.m. Friends will have a van meet the ferry and transport swimmers to Maho.

Visit www.friendsvinp.org/swim for complete information on this event. There are reduced registration fees for swimmers 17 years and younger; there are reduced registration fees for early registration (early registration ends May 5).

Swimmers can also register:
 By calling 779-4940
 Or in person by visiting:
 The Friends of the Park Stores: Mongoose Junction and National Park Service Visitor Center, Cruz Bay
 Connections – Cruz Bay, St. John
 Caribbean Surf Co. – Havensight and Red Hook, St. Thomas
 SCUBA – Christiansted, St. Croix