Major mutlisport event comes back to Bay
The Bay of Islands has been named as one of two venues comprising the New Zealand stage of the 2019 Breca National Championships.
The annual competition is held in wild locations in New Zealand and the United Kingdom with organisers changing the venues every year, with the 2019 locations having just been recently announced.
The Breca National Ranking is a points-based ranking system for teams competing across the series each year. Teams are awarded points for each race they complete, with extra points available at the Breca National Championship race. Following the final race of the calendar year, points will be aggregated to rank the men’s, women’s and mixed teams over full and sprint distances.
Event founder Ben de Rivaz said the Breca National Championships and Breca Rankings allow endurance elites and multisport enthusiasts to compete alongside each other across our stunning race locations.
“Swimrun is rapidly becoming the ‘A’ sport for many of our athletes. It’s going to be a thrilling competitive arena,” he said, noting Swimrun involves teams of two traversing trail and open water, running in their wetsuits and swimming in their shoes.
It is one of the fastest-growing sports globally, with Breca the first to establish races in the United Kingdom and New Zealand and the only swimrun series across two continents. Having started with just 14 teams at its inaugural swimrun event in the Lake District (UK) in 2015, 2018 saw 630 teams competing at Breca events globally.
“More and more elites are joining the field and swimruns are quickly becoming the A race for our existing athletes. The Breca National Championships caters for the increasing competitiveness and popularity of the sport,” said de Rivaz.
“Swimrun is all about teammates working together to complete a unique endurance challenge in spectacular surroundings. You learn a lot about yourself and your own physical and mental capabilities, as well as connecting with nature in a truly immersive way — it’s you and your partner working with and, sometimes, against the elements across land and water.”
The Breca offers two distances to race over: full-distance courses covering 37-54km with projected finish times of 6-10 hours, and 18-22km sprint courses that take 2.5-4.5 hours to complete. A team entry (two people) costs from NZ$480 for a sprint and NZ$720 for a full.
Events confirmed on the 2019 series in New Zealand are at Wanaka on March 16, and the Bay of Islands from April 13-14; and in the UK for the Breca events in Gower from July 13-14, Buttermere from August 10-11, Jersey from September 7-8 and Coniston from October 5-6.
■ Breca Swimrun organises world-class swimrun races in wild places in the UK and New Zealand. The name Breca is derived from the most dramatic swimming contest in literature: the seven-day race between Breca and Beowulf across a stormy windswept sea. Breca emerges from the water victorious; but Beowulf claims the greater victory as he stopped to fight sea monsters along the way.
Competitors in last year’s Breca Bay of Islands event.