With all the Coronavirus stuff going on, let’s get happy and think about the sea and blue skies to warm the soul. In May 2019 I had the opportunity of being able to attend The Best Fest which takes part in the town of Colonia Sant Jordi, Mallorca. With outstanding white sandy beaches and crystal, clear waters. It was fantastic and also the way the whole event was organised meant you knew you were in safe hands. Been surrounded by lots of other swimmers from all over the world meant the spirit was high and the atmosphere was electric. Birds of a feather flock together and boy we were all there in our glory. Swimmers heaven!!!
The Best Fest caters for all swim abilities by offering different challenges.
You don’t have to do all eight of the events but you can pick and choose which events appeal to you. You can also do your swim skins or in a wetsuit.
Colonia Classic 1 - 5km
220 Triathlon Corberana
Colonia Classic 2 – 1.5km
Tell me your time – 2.5km
Es Carbo Italian Volcano
The Best Fest SwimRun Colonia classic 7/10km
Fresh water relay.
Tell Me Your Time Event is not all about you being a super speedy open water swimmer but being able to pace. So, what happens is before you start the event everyone is asked what time they’re going to swim the 2.5km distance and the swimmer who swims the closest to their predicted time will win the event. No cheating allowed as the race marshals will be checking you are not wearing a watch. Who can leave their Garmin in their kit bag and just swim?
Safety is taken seriously with all the open water swimming events having support kayaks and boats on the water. Having a huge respect for the sea it’s really nice and comforting to see the safety guys on the water. I couldn’t see one of the buoy when I completed the 4.5km Around the Island Swim. I stopped and was having a nice chat with a German swimmer on the third island discussing which buoy we should swim too. I told him I was heading home and was going straight and off we went. People looked out for each other.
The minimum age a swimmer is allowed to compete is 14 years old and you don’t have to be a member of a club or a governing body which is great so it’s open to everyone. Come on teens this is your time to shine and swim, all that pool training can be put to practice.
Swim England take a team of swimmers to train for the open water championships. To see the group of kids zooming off in a huge pack is awe inspiring.
Not having much sea swimming experience I swam with a tow float just so I had my own piece of mind and didn't need to worry. Also seeing the sea bed for most of my 4.5km swim was very reassuring and lovely. I used glide to prevent wetsuit chaffing but not enough. Don't be shy using the anti chaffing cream, especially around the neck for wetsuit swimmers and for skins swimmers on the shoulder straps.
While you are not swimming there are lots of restaurants serving gorgeous meals and bars that can tempt you with good cocktails. When you sign up for The Best Fest you get a wristband which then allows you to get discounts from the local restaurants.
If you’re not eating and drinking The Best Centre offers coached sessions in the 10 lane, 50m outdoor pool. On offer are pro clinics to help improve your technique which are led by Olympic athletes, international coaches and guest swimmers. Paul Newsome and Adam Young from Swim Smooth hold clinics and give you good feedback on your swim stroke with under water video analysis. I was lucky enough to attend the Swim Smooth Coaches Coaching Education Course.
Where to stay? All the accommodation looked great. I stayed at
THB Sur Mallorca which is an all-inclusive hotel. I thought it was fantastic. Nothing better than a hotel buffet breakfast!!!