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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. Hydrate appropriately well before the race with drinks you are used to.
2. Bring an extra pair of goggles in case the strap on the one you planned to use breaks or there is some other malfunction. Make sure you have practiced in the other pair and adjusted them for proper fit. Consider tightening goggles a bit before race day to reduce risk of them being knocked off. Practice tighter fit well before the race to make sure you feel comfortable.
3. Check out the course map thoroughly and visualize each leg and turn weeks before race. Think through how you will approach the turn buoy on the correct side. Anticipate chaos and jostling.
4. Look at the size and spacing of the course buoys from the beach. During your warm up, check again to see if you can actually seen the buoys from water level. If not, look for tall buildings or other landmarks that can help you navigate. Nothing more maddening than trying anxiously to find buoys that are too hard to see as you swim.
5. Get a sense for the current and tide direction so you can make adjustments. You may have to head to the left or right of a buoy to stay on course.
6. Check for potential obstacles along the race course, such as location of piers, rocks, boats, non-race buoys, non-race swimmers, and swim lines.
7. Know exactly where the finish line is before you start, as well as the course route leading up to it. You should not have to stop and think about where to go at the tail-end of the race, especially when you are likely to be fatigued.
8. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before start time if it's summer or any time you are in the tropics. Be careful NOT to get sunscreen on your goggle lenses. Clean your fingers thoroughly before applying anything to your goggles.
9. Do a good warm up in the water. It's tempting to think you are going to "save" your energy for the race by limiting the warm up, but a warm up gets the heart rate up where it should be and helps you avoid shock to the system when you start the race.
10. If you are new to open water swim racing and not among the speediest, stand back a bit from the start line and let the experienced swimmers go first to avoid the early jostling for position.

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