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I Sailfish Lanzarote Openwater – nothing is impossible

After months of hard work, we finally met on the 16th of May at the Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen, to launch the first edition of the Sailfish Lanzarote Open Water.

With almost perfect weather conditions, since there was nearly no wind and therefore a very calm sea, swimmers and triathletes from all over the world gathered at the beachfront, ready to jump into the water.

  • Raul Santiago Betancor and Alice Franco, the winners of the I Sailfish Lanzarote Open Water.

The international representation of the swimmers put the bar very high, but in the end a Canarian citizen won the race. The young swimmer Raul Santiago Betancor from Gran Canaria showed of his talent during the two lapse circuit. He was the first to cross the finish line at the time of 00:45:39. The Argentine Damián Blaum ranked the second place (00:46:58) and the third position on the podium went to the Brazilian Samir Botelho (00:48:08).

In the women category the Italian champion swimmer Alice Franco completed the 3.8km as the first in 00:48:10. Followed by the two Spanish competitors Esther Nuñez Morera (00:48:28) and Luisa Mar Morales (00:49:02).

Sailfish Lanzarote Open Water Results 2015

  • Sailfish Lanzarote Open Water, the prior open water event to the Ironman Lanzarote.

The first edition of the Sailfish Lanzarote Open Water is a great swimming test before the International Ironman Lanzarote event. It is the perfect opportunity to bring swimmers and triathletes from all over the world together and to prepare for the Ironman circuit.

The date for the second edition is already set: May 14, 2016. We are looking forward to seeing you again!

The Ironman Lanzarote 2011 Course

With training tapered off to rest muscles, nerves are on edge and tendons are twitching as there’s just one week to go before athletes line up at Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen to kick off one of the world’s most gruelling triathlon races with the swim course.

Now in its 20th year, Ironman Lanzarote 2011 was sold out in just two months of registration opening when the lists were closed at 1450 registered participants, leaving 75 slots open for pro athletes. In total, more than 1500 athletes will compete.

Topping the nationalities participating is Spain with 32% of the field, followed closely by the UK with 26%. The rest of the field is made up of mainly Europeans but there are representatives from 40 different countries, from Argentina to Venezuela, making up the International starting line.

The race begins at 7am with the swim section which comprises a distance of 3.8 kilometres over two loops of 1.9 kilometres each. Anyone still in the water at 09.20am will end their Ironman challenge at that point. Although anyone who has witnessed the lemming-like run into the water at the start of an Ironman competition may think it looks like a free-for-all, in fact the athletes are grouped into three sections – pro athletes, those whose swim time is expected to be under 65 minutes, and everyone else.

Emerging from the sea and shedding wetsuits, athletes then run to the bike area for the start of what is arguably the most gruelling leg of the competition – a 180.2 kilometres of cycling. Involving over 2551 metres of climbing, including the long slog to Los Nieves and the Mirador del Harí­a from which the views are so stunning. Not that the athletes will be hanging around to take any snapshots, hurtling instead on the short downward before climbing again to Mirador del Rio before the worst of the thigh crunching is complete.

The cut off time for the cycle section is 6.30pm and anyone still in the saddle after that will have to pedal off into the distance, their challenge ended.

The final and most exciting section of the race is the 42.2 kilometres marathon run which consists of three laps – the first is 18.66 kilometres followed by two laps each of 11.80 kilometres. The distance is run along the Puerto del Carmen seafront of Avenida de Las Playas to Playa Honda with the second and third laps looping at Matagorda and the route is traditionally lined with thousands of spectators urging the athletes on to achieve new personal best times.

Athletes have until midnight to complete the final leg of the triathlon before time will be called on their efforts.

The leaders and podium places are expected to complete the course in a time of under 10 hours and the records being chased are a final time of 08:35:40 for men, held by Thomas Hellriegel of Germany and 09:24:39 for women held by Paula Newby-Fraser of Zimbabwe.

Iron Man Lanzarote 2011 May 21st

Around the globe, 1500 triathletes right now are revisiting their training schedules; upping the number of hours they spend in the gym, the number of kilometres they cycle and the gradients of the kilometres they run. With less than four weeks before one of the toughest races in the world, fitness levels have to be at their peak for Ironman Lanzarote 2011.

Now in its 20th year, Ironman Lanzarote has a reputation as one of the most gruelling of competitions. Just to compete is a challenge; to complete the course is a personal triumph and to be in the prize money is to prove yourself to be one of the fittest triathletes on the planet. The Ironman motto reads: An unrivalled test of strength, character and mind-body excellence. Watching these athletes battling pain, fatigue, willpower and the clock, every word of that motto is etched into their faces.

Staged in the Lanzarote resort of Puerto del Carmen, the Ironman race begins with a 3.8 kilometre swim, followed by a 180 kilometre cycle ride which includes 2551 metres of climbing and finishing off with a 42.2 kilometre marathon run. For many, it’s the cycle leg that will present the biggest challenges, getting to grips with Lanzarote’s beautiful but rugged terrain as well as battling the prevailing strong winds.

Over 400 volunteers will be putting in their own marathon stints to help ensure the safety and fairness of the competition helping athletes to apply the essential sunscreen that will protect them from Lanzarote’s fierce sun, manning the aid stations, handling the bikes at change-overs. Thousands of spectators who annually travel to Lanzarote to lend their support and encouragement to these supreme athletes also bring their own essential ingredient to the competition. Amongst them will be Sands Beach Resort, cheering all the athletes on but with a special shout for our friends and sponsored athletes Nicholas (Nico) Muñoz Ward and Marieke Vervoot both of whom we’ll be chatting to in the run up to the competition.

Lanzarote’s volcanic terrain means that the Ironman competition has many similarities to the Hawaii-staged 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship and for that reason, Ironman Lanzarote is seen as essential preparation for that event. Recognised as an official qualifying competition, Ironman Lanzarote has 55 qualifying slots for Hawaii in its grasp and the allocation of those slots on a per age group basis will be announced the day before the event at 3pm at the race venue in Puerto del Carmen.

So it’s all to fight for on May 21st when the race begins with the swim off Playa Grande.

Images by James Mitchell Photography

Rafa Botello at the Vuelta Playa Blanca Handbike Race

Last weekend our very good friend, sportsman Rafa Botello took part in one of the most eagerly contested Handbike competitions on Lanzarote. The second Vuelta Playa Blanca (tour of Playa Blanca) has become one of the three most important events of this type in the world attracting 63 competitors from 12 countries. Competing in the same category as Rafa was the 2010 world champion.

Rafa shared his experience of the event with Sands Beach.

It was a good test for me to discover my current fitness levels in the sport but after the World Cup, a week long vacation and then workouts of up to 5 hours per day, two days wasn’t enough to assess it 100% for sure.
On the Saturday I decided not to go flat out for the 3 kilometre prologue circuit as my main objective was the 2.1 km half marathon circuit on Sunday.

The route was lined with smiling, cheering people and it was looking good as I was in a top 10 position after the first lap. But the leaders were split into two groups. The guys in the first three places had gone off like a bullet and were way in front. The second group stayed more or less together for 38 minutes and on the 9th circuit I decided to ease off on the brakes going around the corner to try to go a bit faster and move up through the group. But when you’re out of practice, sometimes all you can do is hope. I mistimed braking at the corner and all I could do was wait until I hit the hay barrier.

After falling I decided it was time to retire from the race.

However, I was very happy to have competed with the best in the world and to have been amongst the top ten up until just 20 minutes from the end. The top three were in a different category from everyone else, but I believe I could have finished in seventh place in my first major handbike race.

Rafa is staying on Lanzarote for another week and we’ll be honoured by his presense as well as that of other top athletes Eneko Llanos, Francisco Sola, Ivan Rana, Nicholas Ward and Alejandro Santamaria at the Tri.WWW charity event in aid of helping people with disabilities.

The event takes place on Friday 18th February and promises to be an afternoon jam-packed full of fun with a barbecue, raffles and some great music from the band LZ Sexy Chocolate.

You can pick up your ticket at Sands Beach Resort or through Tri.WWW. For more information call 928.59.58.20/928.59.04.00

This is going to be a fabulous event so don’t miss it.