Africa’s oldest open water swimming race, the Nelson Mandela Bay River Mile has joined the Global Swim Series adding to the diverse number of countries and participants in the expanding series.
The Global Swim Series now has over 110,000 swimmers, in 159 races, in 34 countries. These include: Austria, Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, England, Fiji, France, Greece, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, St Kitts & Nevis, Sweden, Turks & Caicos, UAE and USA. The organising team add that ‘more are joining all the time!’
Taking place on February 17, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, the River Mile features around 1,000 swimmers in Nelson Mandela Bay. The River Mile is the oldest open water race in Africa and one of the oldest races in the world.
The first race was run in 1924. It has been one of South Africa’s biggest and most popular races ever since. The River Mile is a fast and competitive open water race, but the event is also positioned as a family day out at the picturesque Sundays River venue in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Founded in 2014, the Global Swim Series had its inaugural season as the Canadian Open Water Swim Series and had 12 races spread across Canada from Halifax to Vancouver. The first season had over 2,000 participants. It included former Olympians, nationally ranked club swimmers, NCAA and CIS athletes, marathon swimmers, long distance triathletes. The organisers add that the series also welcomed the majority of participants without any auspicious credentials and encouraged those new to the sport of open water swimming to join the fun.
After an impressive first year in Canada, the decision was made to go global and thus the Global Swim Series was born.