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In Front of FLAMINGO CAFE, Grace Bay Beach Access between Club Med and Ocean Club East
race for the conch tci swim federation

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The Start   |  The Course   |  The Finish

Turks & Caicos
Open Water Swim Training & Swim Safaris

printable pdf for downloading

10 Tips for each segment of open water racing: The Start, The Course, and The Finish. These tips have been compiled by Ben Stubenberg, Co-Owner/Manager Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures/Turks & Caicos Open Water Swim Training & Swim Safaris. They are based on research, comments by top OW swimmers, and Benʼs own experience as OW swim competitor and co-founder and organizer of the annual Turks & Caicos “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim held first Saturday of each July.


1. As you approach the finish, take time to identify the markers leading to the last stretch before the finish line. Extra buoys, lane lines, boats, and people can make some course finishes confusing and cause a swimmer to overshoot or take a wrong turn.
2. If the finish line is on the beach, swim right up to the beach until your hands are grabbing the sand or rocks. Try not to stand up in water above your thighs. Wading through water to the beach will only slow you down.
3. If there is small surf, try to catch the waves by swimming as fast as you can and then ride them in using longer strokes if you have to. Be alert to wave backwash that flows away from the shore and impedes your progress. If there is a sandy bottom, consider diving under the backwash to get through it easier.
4. When you are ready to stand up, consider doing so slowly as your horizontal swimming position may have redistributed more blood to your head. If you feel dazed, drop down to a knee and wait a few seconds to readjust. Don't want to black out!
5. When you cross the finish line, check your time if there is a visible race clock. Avoid asking the time officials for your time during the race, as they busy recording other times. You'll see your official time printed out soon enough after the race.
6. Try to walk around to cool down your muscles and avoid cramping up. 7. If you are in a warm water race, take off your cap, as that will help you cool down. In cooler or cold water races, dry off quickly, put on something warm, and move around to warm up.
8. Grab water or a sports drink with electrolytes to rehydrate. You sweat just as much in water as on land, but may not necessarily feel thirsty. If you can, drink liquids you are accustomed to after a workout to avoid ingesting something new that doesn't agree with you. Best to have your own refreshment (and snacks) handy to make sure you get the right drink and food replenishment, just in case organizers have run out. (Doesn't happen often, but can.)
9. If you feel ill in any way, immediately go the first aid station or tell a race official you need help.
10. Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishment. Note what you learned but enjoy the moment. Nothing like getting that natural high and sharing the experience with others.

Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures
Turks & Caicos Open Water Swim Training & Swim Safaris
Caicos Cafe Plaza, Grace Bay
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
(649) 432-5000 /