OCEANMAN TURKEY HAS IT ALL
Kids’ races, relays and swimming around a castle – Ocean Man Turkey has it all…
Written by Simon Griffiths of Outdoor Swimmer
Keykubat Beach in Alanya is the perfect venue for a children’s sea swimming race. The water is usually calm, there are no strong currents, and the sandy beach slopes steadily so there are no sudden changes of depth. On top of that, there are fantastic views onto the historic and impressive Alanya Castle.
Oceankids took place the day before Oceanman Turkey’s full distance swimming marathon event and invited children from 7 to 14 to take part in a single-lap 500m sea swim. Unlike the adults the next day, most kids swam without a wetsuit, and they swam well, showing good open water skills entering and exiting the water.
The children’s event was followed by team relays – 30 teams of 3 swimmers, age 12 and upwards, competed over a 750m course, doing one lap each with separate categories for men, women and mixed. Many of the participants used the relay event as a warm up for the longer 5 and 10km swims the next day.
Perfect weather greeted the 100 or so competitors in the 10km swim. Barely a ripple disturbed the water surface until the swimmers charged in, accompanied by the sound of loud motivational music. Some 30 minutes later, another 200 swimmers followed. They were doing the 5km race. Both groups got to swim around the rugged peninsular that’s home to Alanya’s thirteenth century castle and still has much of its imposing external walls intact. Cleopatra Beach on the west side of the peninsular marked the end for the 5km swimmers and the turn point for the 10km swimmers, who then got to swim the route in reverse. The course was clearly marked with bright Swim Secure marker buoys, that kept swimmers going in opposite directions apart.
Another 100 swimmers entered the water later in the afternoon for a 1.5km “sprint” – some of these had earlier completed one of the longer swims!
Tow floats are compulsory for safety reasons on Oceanman swims as they make the swimmers easier to spot in the water. This is especially important on the longer races where competitors become very spread out and it could be easy to lose sight of them. From a swimmer’s perspective, in still conditions, the tow floats are barely noticeable, and one advantage (except for the race leader) is that they make it much easier to follow the swimmer in front.
Oceanman Turkey also featured an all-you-can eat pasta buffet and a post-race excursion in a party boat. Alanya itself is a curious place to visit combing an impressive and well-preserved historic site within buzzing modern Turkish town and a bustling sea front. The town welcomes thousands of tourists each year, predominantly from Germany, Scandinavia and Russia, and offers a wide range of accommodation options.
Simon Griffiths, founder and publisher of Outdoor Swimmer, took part in Oceanman Turkey.
In 2019, Swim Secure are Oceanman’s sponsor for tow floats and buoys.
Images © Katia Vastiau