Crystal Cup 2009

On Saturday Oct 24th I participated at the 30th edition of the Crystal Cup hosted by the SLRG Oberwallis in Fiesch.

This meet is the season opener for most Swiss finswimming athletes but this year not as much of them eventually showed up in Fiesch. With the weekend being placed right at the end of the holidays a lot of the athletes enjoyed the warm weather some place else rather than the chilly mountains. I for one had a great day and a lot of fun.

The format of the meet is really simple. You won’t win anything unless you compete in all the events. Try do to your best in your weak events and score in your strong events to come out on top at the end of the two days. Although I already knew I won’t be eligible for the final rankings because I only raced on Saturday, I went ahead and swam all events on this one day anyway.

With my finswimming being a lot more consisted over the last year and particularly since the beginning of the new season I was looking forward to see where I’ll stand compared to last year. My first event was the 400 FS. Last year it was the first time I ever did a 400 at a finswimming competition and I didn’t do well (my time 4:23.*). I went out to fast and died on the second half of the race. This year my coach laid out the strategy and during warm-up we found the way to go. My goal was to break the four-minute mark and I came really close with a 4:03.1.

Only about five minutes later I had to step up on the block again for the 50 Bi-Fins. I was still in the warm down pool trying to get my legs back when they called me up. So I took my fins and raced to the blocks to swim my race. I didn’t do especially well but it was good enough for this time to take the win.

After a short brake, I swam the first leg on the 4×50 FS mixed relay. With most of our top athletes not attending the meet, I was free to skip the really. But I decided to go for it and swim with our younger athletes. I had a really good race and gave the team a big enough lead for the win.

The next race on the program was the 50 FS. Coming off a rather relaxed and good relay swim I was hoping to post a good time. For most of my competitors the time wasn’t the most important today with the final on the second day. I probably was a little over-motivated and this is never a good thing. I made a huge mistake and on the 50 there’s no space for errors. To cut a long story short, there wasn’t much to be pleased about this race.

Last race of the day was the 200 Bi-Fins. With the CMAS adding those races to their official program more and more athletes start to participate in those events. For myself this 200 was really just an opportunity to get some more racing done. Although a lot of people would imaging that you get a huge advantage coming from the classic swim sport. But I don’t think the advantage is that huge because the fins are a drastic change to the habitual environment. Again on a national level there’s not yet a huge competition and my performance was easily good enough for the win.

It was a fun day and overall I’m happy with how I did. Looks like the season is off to a good start. Full results of the event can be viewed by clicking on this link. The next finswimming meet will be the traditional Copa da Natal on December 6th in Tenero.