This is not for one or two years. This will be your greatest open water swimming ultra endurance challenge for the next three years. The Illas Atlánticas Triple Crown is an homage to one of the most beautiful places in the world, a National Park made up by several islands protecting the Galician lower estuaries (Rías Baixas) from the brave Atlantic Ocean and creating an exceptionally diverse and rich ecosystem.
The challenge involves departing each year from one of the islands bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and swim to a beautiful beach in the interior of one of the three largest estuaries: Vigo, Pontevedra and Arousa. Each year the distance will increase at the same rate as the excitement to swim again in these waters. Please, be warned that these are open water swimming competitions longer than ten kilometres each, intended for swimmers with experience in such long distance competitions in tough water conditions. The organizers have been thinking for the last three years what the special prize for those swimmers that finish the three heats will be.
The Illas Atlánticas Triple Crown is organized by the company Atlantic Extrem Sports and the Tumetapersonal club, known in open water swimming competitions as the organizers of the successful Travesía a nado Costa Serena (800 m and 4km heats), that in the 2015 edition gathered more than 400 swimmers in América Beach, Nigrán.
The three Crowns
The first heat, 13 km long, took take place in September 2015 from Ons Island to Silgar beach, in Sanxenxo (Pontevedra).
In 2016 the second, more eager, we swam 16 km from the mythic Cíes Islands to Ribeira Beach (Baiona).
After these two heats, no one could stop us and we would train the whole year to prepare the biggest challenge in our lives: completing the Illas Atlánticas Triple Crown by swimming from Sálvora Island to the Vilagarcía de Arousa beaches, a very long swim for 2017 of more than 28 kilometres in which participants will swim across O Grove, Cambados, Arousa Island and Vilanova de Arousa before shouting “Land ho!!!” . This third Crown will become the toughest European open water swimming competition and will succeed our sister open water swimming competition, the mythic Battle of Rande, 27 kilometres long, in the Vigo estuary.
In the three crowns, the temperature of the waters will range from 13 to 18 degrees, depending on the predominant winds and the ocean upwelling activity, a phenomenom that makes the waters in the interior of the estuaries be 8 to 10 degrees Celsius below the surface water of the Atlantic Ocean. This is due to the surge of very deep oceanic waters -more than 300 metres deep- that surface due to a special combination of winds and submarine orography. Neoprene is therefore required in the Illas Atlánticas Triple Crown heats.
Coldest, prettiest, largest biodiversity
Swimming in the waters of the Illas Atlánticas National Park, for those who do not know them, is an extraordinary marine experience. The ocean upwelling brings an unusually high amount of nutrients that makes biodiversity skyrocket, building an extraordinary fauna and flora mosaic, but without jellyfish or pollution. This national park is made up of four archipelagos and three estuaries and it is classified as SSPA (seabirds special protection area), SPA (special protection area) and SPANV (special protection area for its natural values), among other categories or international and European environmental protection standards. This is why we will offer guided tours of the different Islands in each of the three competitions, with the cooperation of the Management of the National Park, whose collaboration in this project has been essential.
Swimming and something else
The Illas Atlánticas Triple Crown is not just a sports competition, it is a weekend to really enjoy yourself and your relatives and friends, swimming, sunbathing on snow white sands, sailing or enjoying our gastronomy and visiting the National Park and the cities close to the estuaries. This is why we are preparing a range of leisure activities that make the competition a fully enjoyable experience in the Rías Baixas. In the evening, after the competition once recovered from the effort, we will have a top-notch party, in which presents from the major brands of swimming products will be awarded to all the participants. We are also taking care of and offering a number of services to competing swimmers and accompanying families and friends than you can book in advance, including accommodation, boat trips for relatives, guided tours, etc.