ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Cannes 2021 turned out to be everything we hoped for
After 18 months of repressed freedom this weekend in Cannes gave us all the hope for the future that we needed.
A week of preparation under the sun in the beautiful city of Cannes set the tone for the weekend. A new venue for this year with a great partnership with the Hotel Martinez right on the Croisette gave us all the energy needed to really nail it.
The new reality for race organizers with very late sign ups really keeps you on your toes all the way until the start gun. How much risk do we dare to take? What can we expect? Two weeks before the race weekend it did not look so bright. Yet in the end we had a total of 509 registered racers. Not as good as in 2019 but definitely moving in the right direction.
Sprint & Experience
Saturday with Sprint and Experience races saw around 300 racers take the start in the sand on the Martinez beach. We had lots of newcomers, local youngsters from the tri club, many familiar faces and most importantly, lots of big smiles.
It was a beautiful moment to see all the different colors of bibs take off all at once.
The afternoon of finish line euphoria and many World Series onlookers made the beach club a bubbling and energetic hangout. It was great to see the community interacting as one with close to 25 nationalities represented.
At 5 pm we did a first-time interaction with questions & answers with the mixed and women’s world champions. This felt like it was a real success.
On Sunday the day started a lot earlier with a beautiful sunrise ferry ride to the start island of Sainte Marguerite for the World Series distance. This energy is much different on Sunday morning. You can almost touch the adrenaline, stress and anticipation of a long day of pushing limits.
The start with 92 teams and 22 solo racers through the fort was electric. Full tilt right away.
The first section of this course is full on with two loops around St Marguerite, one loop around St Honarat, three intense swims of which one over the underwater sculpture park which we left as a surprise for the racers. Then there is the big swim across to the mainland and where the race really starts. Some big runs await, two big hills and a bunch of swims. If you have not planned well this is where you run out of gas as your sightseeing slows down.
The racing itself was spectacular. In the front Hugo Tormento & Max Andersson showed early that they would be hard to beat, building a lead throughout the day.
The big battle was for second place overall. Where the current mixed world champions Desiree Andersson & Victor Dahl battled it out with the first solo man, Johan Skårbratt and the second men’s team Max & Will.
In the end Désirée & Victor showed why they are World Champions and executed a perfect race to win the Mixed race, to place second overall and to beat the chasing men’s team and solo racer with seconds. It was very exciting on the finish line.
In the Women’s race it was equally exciting with three teams that stuck together for a while. Then the two top teams broke away to chase each other all the way to the finish line. The current Women’s World Champions Kristin Larsson & Helena Sivertsson also showed why they are the best in the world keeping the chasing team of Anna Hellström & Johanna Paulsson just behind all the way across the line. They were all four super stoked after racing a little more than five hours at full tilt, to have battled it out all day.
Every single racer who started this weekend should feel like a winner. You should feel very proud to be part of creating the unique atmosphere we had together. Something to remember through the winter months until the season starts again.
Thank you all racers, thank you Marie Jallat and all volunteers for the energy you give. Thank you Hotel Martinez for the trust and the friendship, thank you Cannes for providing a perfect weekend and thank you all sponsors for making this season happen.
Last but not least. Thank you Philippe Cordero & Laurent Gourmaud we cannot do this without you!
Now we prepare for closing the season at ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Malta on November 6-7. We will do what we can to provide the best end of the year we possibly can.
Join us for a great weekend of races.