A record number of entries expected for Vaal open water swim event as the Annual Emerald Challenge has become the largest competition of its kind up country.
The third annual Emerald Challenge open water swim on Saturday, 1st of December 2007 has seen a dramatic increase in the number of entries received. This year’s entries have more than doubled the 2006 head count and organisers are expecting several hundred swimmers to participate at this year’s event.
The event, hosted along Emerald Casino Resort’s Vaal River front in Vanderbijlpark, has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the Northern part of the country. Not only is the Emerald Challenge an official seeding event for the 2008 Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile, but the 3km swim also serves as a qualifier for the SA National Open Water Swimming Championship. “The Emerald Challenge’s accelerated growth in 3 years indicates a sustained upward growth in interest in the discipline,” says organiser Justine Mouton, “and open water swimming has grown in particular. It’s an event that allows for participation of any age and any ability and outside its competitive aspect, also delivers a rewarding personal experience.”
Last year’s event saw a record number of entries for the second event, with more than 450 swimmers competing in the various categories. The 3km and 1km overall male and female categories are this year complemented by performance and participation prizes for clubs and schools and overall prize money has been increased to R 34’450.
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