Calling all swimmers with a sense of adventure!  Here are a couple of great races in central Europe:

1) The Backwaterman Waldviertel , held on July 6, gives swimmers a rugged adventure in an off-the-beaten path area in Austria. Situated in the north of the country, this race offers a classic long distance open water race of 7k, but there are also a 750m and 1500m races too.

The unique part of this race is the unmistakable fjord-like waters of the Ottenstein reservoir, located north-west of Vienna.  This race is sure to leave swimmers with some amazing memories.

The Backwaterman Waldviertel started in 2006 and has been the pioneer of the long distance open water scene in the Alps Region. Jumping from the ship to get to the start of the race is a legendary experience.

New for 2019, is a SwimRun competition that takes on this spectacular terrain in this unique natural setting.

2) The other great Austrian race, which is held on June 21-22, is the Schwimm Festival Neusideler See” (Lake Neusiedler Swimming Festival), which is set in UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lake Neusidl, one of the larges lakes in central Europe.  The lake straddles the border between Austria and Hungary. The festival has 9 competitions and 11 distances, so there is something for everyone. The “Mörbisch am See” and “Illmitz” competitions range from 200 m to 6.2 km, and also offer children’s competition. This explains the festival motto:

“Swim & More” for everyone!

The main event is the classic 3.1k lake crossing, which counts towards the Junior Open Water Cup. And new in 2019 is the 6.2k double crossing too! The whole event was expanded in 2013 into a multi-day swimming festival, it is for competitive athletes and beginners, young and old, and is all about a fun and healthy active lifestyle.

The largest outdoor opera stage in the world, covering 6,000 people, forms the unique backdrop for the swimming competitions in the lake arena in the seaside resort of Mörbisch with its surrounding reeds. In Illmitz and the surrounding area, the natural beauty of the unique steppes and natural landscape captivates as well.

This large sports fair with unique program for kids, make the weekend a special occasion for the whole family.

So if you are in central Europe, or just looking for a great trip, these are 2 great races to plan for… and to add points to your GSS Global Ranking!


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