The Isles of Scilly are making final preparations for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship UK Qualifier taking place on the islands on Saturday, 18 June.
This qualifying race will be the first ever held in the UK, with 120 pairs, from the UK and across Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan, chasing eight spots in the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship.
ÖTILLÖ means island-to-island in Swedish, and the race on Scilly will be a true test of endurance for the teams of two that will tackle a course of nearly 38 kilometres in length. There will be nine open-water swim sections, linked by 30 kilometres of trail running across the islands of St. Mary’s, Tresco, St. Martin’s and Bryher. The first three men’s, the first three mixed and the first two women’s teams, who haven’t already secured a spot, will qualify for the world championship taking place in the Stockholm archipelago on 5 September.
Scilly was selected by the race organisers as the UK venue after a year-long search for a suitable location. “We chose the Isles of Scilly because the islands are so beautiful and the environment is pristine yet challenging,” says Race Director for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series, Mats Skott. “We’ve been working hard on planning all aspects of the race with the Visit Isles of Scilly team, and can’t wait to put on an amazing qualifying event in preparation for the world championship, now in its 11th year.”
Zoe Parry, Events Manager for Visit Isles of Scilly, says: “We are delighted to be hosting the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun UK Qualifier and look forward to welcoming competitors and supporters to the islands. Scilly is the perfect place for fun and competitive sporting challenges as well as a popular holiday destination, and the qualifying race is a fantastic addition to our sports calendar.
“The islands are fast becoming a centre for adventure sports. Scilly is already home to the annual World Pilot Gig Championships, the Tresco Triathlon and the Scilly Swim Challenge, in which participants swim and walk the five main islands in one or two days. There’s all this plus the islands’ favourite marine pursuits, including stand-up paddle-boarding, wild swimming, coasteering, kayaking, gig racing and sea fishing, all in Scilly’s spectacular surroundings.”
ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Isles of Scilly is one of a series of new events on the islands for 2016 supported by the Coastal Communities Fund. Other events include the inaugural Islands’ Regatta over the August Bank Holiday weekend, with a display from the Red Arrows topping the bill on the final day, and the first Taste of Scilly food and drink festival running throughout September. For more details, go to: www.visitislesofscilly.com