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Race directors report ÖTILLÖ, THE SWIMRUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2022

2022 – the year when all the stars aligned!

After two years of restrictions and pandemic it has been so good to have a year where we can do as we please. We hoped for a better start of the year as most race providers around the world did. However, ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Gothenburg gave us a taste of what things could be like again. 

The 2022 World Championship weekend

The weekend started with the Sprint Final15K on Utö. More racers than ever, great swimrun weather and a perfect day for racing. The feeling was great among the racers and among us, as organizers. It was also great to see so many youngsters racing. Both through the Envol youth programme and also independently. 

Evening boat ride through the Stockholm archipelago

Our trip up to Djurönäset in the evening took us throughout the archipelago on flat water. We put out the last buoys and checked parts of the course from the water. It was beautiful. 

Sunday at Djurönäset

Sunday before the race is the day where we need to make it all happen together with the volunteers. Make introductions and go through instructions. To be able to make the process smooth for all the racers as they arrive. 

The registration process was relaxed, check in to the hotel worked without a hitch and we had a great race briefing with an awesome film and nerves on the outside for all. 

Conditions seemed to be lining up for a perfect race day. 

Race day

In the morning we woke up to a dry, warm pre-dawn. The hotel staff had lit lights around the hotel and down to the water. It was a magical atmosphere. 

The sun rose at the same time as Mats started our 16th ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship. It lit up the Stockholm archipelago in a warm light and it felt like it was going to be a good day. 

The rocks were dry, the water was a couple degrees warmer than usual and the sea level was almost 45 cm lower than it usually is. 

The sea level made many places dry that normally are quite slippery. 

A fast day

From about 1 hour into the race we saw that it was going to be a fast day. Max Andersson & Hugo Tormento pulled away already on the first swim. Chased by a group of about seven teams where Amanda Nilsson & Adriel Young led the chase with a couple of minutes on the chasing pack. In which we could see Desirée Andersson & Alexander Berggren on the hunt together with a few Swedish teams and a few French teams. 

This would be the year when France really showed that they are at the forefront of Swimrun together with some Swedes. 

From early on Ulrika Eriksson & Helena Sivertsson showed very clearly that they would be hard to beat in the Womens category. They took a comfortable lead and pushed without redlining. Smart racing in a lead position. Behind two young womens teams had it out for the other top spots of which one was Swedish and the other was…. French!

The questions of the day

The big questions of the day were if Hugo & Max could keep up their phenomenal speed without any one really chasing them? They certainly could and even increased the pace towards the end. 

What would happen in the mixed category with five possible teams to win and Adriel & Amanda going hard for it early? Towards the 40 km mark Desirée & Alexander ate up the gap and pushed hard to take a magnificent win. Alexis Charrier & Sabina Rapelli took the last podium spot after yet another superb day of racing. 

Could Ulrika & Helena hold on to their lead and crush the course record? What would happen on the rest of the podium? Hard training, experience and a solid will took Ulrika & Helena flying through the course. At second place we saw the same positive energy as in 2021 with Evelina & Therese showing that they are among the best. In third place for the first time a French team, Aline Tavernier & Julia Moustakir who proved that they continue to progress and that they are the reference in womens racing in France. 

Course records destroyed

Max & Hugo destroyed the previous course record and finished the course in unbelievable 7:00:58 almost catching us with our pants down and missing their finish. 

Desirée & Alexander crushed the previous Mixed course record. Also held by Desirée who continues to show that she is a remarkable swimrunner. 

Helena & Ulrika also crushed the previous Womens record showing that experience and excellent skills make up for their non- racing together. They only decided to race together the day before as their respective partners both were sick. 

2022 will go down in the history books as the year when everyone had better times than ever before. Either due to more training or perfect conditions. Probably a combination of both. 

It is also a year when we for the first time were honored by an official national team. France is leading the way. 

For the first time half of the podium was Swedish and the other half was non-Swedish.

We also had almost 95% of all teams finish the race which is fantastic. 

The future

Who knows what the future has in store for us. How much will the geopolitical situation affect us? How will the economy change the race providing business? These are things we can think about but we have very little possibilities to influence them. 

Now the cycle of collecting ranking points is hopefully normalized and that we can select teams in January based on 2021 and 2022 results as it should be.

We also know that we have two races left this season. Cannes and Malta. We will do them as well as we possibly can. So that we can close our 16th season with a perfect record. Then we will see what the future will bring. 

Hopefully you can join us and celebrate the end of this year!

Podiums ÖTILLÖ, The Swimrun World Championship 2022

Men

Hugo Tormento (FRA) & Max Andersson (SWE)

Maxime Picaut & William Even (FRA)

Lars Ekman & Kenny Meijer (SWE)

Mixed

Desirée Andersson & Alexander Berggren (SWE)

Amanda Nilsson (SWE) & Adriel Young (AUS)

Sabina Rapelli (CH) & Alexis Charrier (FRA)

Women

Ulrika Eriksson & Helena Sivertsson (SWE)

Evelina Järvinen & Therese Bergling (SWE)

Julia Moustakir & Aline Tavernier (FRA)

The complete results.

The race film.

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