“We kept believing it during the lockdown, we did the social media lives every Sunday, we talked about the open water community, we did the first virtual swimming race in Italy, we did the first big Open Water race in a place that paid such heavy price to covid19 as Lombardy. No triumphalism here, but today we go home with happiness in our hearts and a renewed sense of certainty: together we can. We have always known this because we know the Italian Open Water Tour community and we know that we shouldn’t have expected anything different from them” These are the words said in the heat of the moment of Marcello Amirante, President of ASD I Glaciali, organizer of the Circuit.
THE ABNORMAL NORMALITY OF A PERFECT DAY
Maccagno welcomed more than 200 athletes who came from all over Italy wearing its best suit: clear water, clear skies and a great summer atmosphere: a perfect race field for the first stage of the 2020 Challenge.
From the very early hours of the morning the area was reached by the athletes who, for the most part, had arrived there already on the previous day: the excitement for a day that should have been like many others had this been a normal year was palpable since Sunday represented ,both for the organizers and the protagonists in the water ,the first official post lockdown event.
The Collection of the competitors’ packages was possible only if equipped with the covid self-certification and acceptance of the extension of the race regulation, all created in compliance with the protocols prepared by the organization with the help of the National Rescue Society.( Società Nazionale di Salvamento)
The entry of athletes into the race area was allowed only if wearing a protective mask, under the watchful eye of the scrupulous staff (That has “heroically” wore all day their masks despite the more than 35°C of the day) that was closely monitored by the police present throughout the event.
The awards ceremonies were also held with close respect of the social distancing rule and the use of the mask: a “sacrifice” to which all the athletes have willingly submitted themselves understanding the sensitivity surrounding the first race of the year.
RESULTS WITH BIG CONFIRMATIONS AND HOT NEWS
All the races were characterized by a huge deployment of forces in the water to ensure the safety of all athletes: coordinated with the race management were the State Police, the Carabinieri, the Guardia di Finanza, the Local Police of Milan – Divers division, the Protezione Civile, the Red Cross, Sogit and the means of the Unione Velica of Maccagno, Technical Partner of the event.
The first race was the SMILE SWIM of 2500 meters that saw Lorenzo Caiazza prevail among the men with 32:50″ in a sprint over Daniele Savia (winner of the Challenge 2019) and Thomas Signini and Camilla Montalbetti (winner of the Challenge 2019) with 33’02” on Lara Gherardini and Alice Senatore. In the Over40 categories Davide Varesi and Consuelo Vecchio distinguished themselves, while in the “natural” category (swimmers wearing only a simple swimsuit of cloth) Mirko Luccarelli and Viola Giraudo.
Next was the HARD SWIM 5000mt dominated among the men by Igor Piovesan (already world Masters champion several times) with 1h10’09” on Diego Fedeli (new record holder of the 23km crossing of Lake Iseo) and Daniele Savia and the new discovery of the Circuit the 17-year-old Sara Petrolli with 1h15’53” on Lara Gherardini and Camilla Montalbetti. In the Over40 categories, Igor Piovesan (real showman of the day) and Clizia Borrello were the first, while in the “natural” Filippo Marchini (already winner of the Challenge Hard Swim 2018) and Marta Carnelli.
NATURAL MEN’S HARD SWIM RANKING
WOMEN’S HARD SWIM RANKINGS
HARD WOMEN’S WOMEN’S HARD SWIM RANKING OVER40
WOMEN’S NATURAL HARD SWIM RANKING
The final relay saw the favorites ” the Bulli” (Caiazza, Gherardini, Piovesan) prevail with 37:38″ ahead of the “Brinda Tori” (Savia, Marchini, Fedeli)with 39’29” and “FDF Racing Team” (Castano, Gallazzi, Tavanelli) with 39:31″.
The award for the largest group was won by Swimmers Inside, that went into the water in 15 led by their President Stefano Trentin.
“Open water, open mind” is also the name of the trophy awarded at every stage among the Avis donors taking part in race , to seal the strong partnership between partners, characterized by the inflatable red arch that represents the start of every race. AVIS Provincial Varese, represented by delegate Davide Casiraghi, awarded the less young blood donor athlete.
A GREAT FIRST TAKE
The enthusiasm is mounting, after this first stage, for the upcoming stages in Monate (August 30) and Noli (September 13).
“The role of Maccagno, in this cursed year, was really fundamental because from today we can start to discuss and plan ahead with a day of such a high standard of commitment behind” says Amirante “and our biggest thanks must go to the local administration that supported us for two days with unwavering strength and belief, support sealed by the final awards carried out at the presence of the first citizen Fabio Passera.”