Clean, green and eager for extreme challenge

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 October, 2008, 12:00am

More than 100 distance swimmers will take to the waters in Stanley Bay this morning in the annual 'Clean Half' - Asia's only marathon swimming relay.

Modelled after the world famous Maui Channel Crossing relay, the 15km race starts on Stanley Main Beach and ends in Deepwater Bay.

A total of 20 five-strong teams have signed up for the relay. Each competitor will swim for 20 minutes for the first rotation through the team, with 10-minute intervals thereafter until the race finishes. A boat will accompany each team.

Two teams will be taking the 'carbon neutral' option, which involves paddling a six-man outrigger canoe along the entire course, and swimming at the same time. This is also believed to be the first outrigger/swimming relay in the world.

There will also be five solo swimmers.

'The course chosen from Stanley to Deepwater Bay is along some of the most stunning views Hong Kong Island has to offer,' said Doug Woodring, one of the organisers. 'We hope the race can highlight the importance of Hong Kong's ocean and water environment.'

While enjoying the scenery on the 'Clean Half' of Hong Kong Island, participants were also reminded 'the race is extreme swimming at its finest' with large swells expected outside of Stanley to Round Island.

Some of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the WWF for the 'Save Our Seas Campaign'.