In the middle of March 2019, in relatively cold conditions – water and air about 8 degrees, strong wind – I swam the artificial whitewater channel on the Vienna Danube Island. My aim was to explore the possibilities for a swimming event in September 2019. Location and infrastructure are perfect to make a great and safe event here. An international “Swim-the-Channel-Cup” would also be considered, as there are such artificial whitewater routes in many interesting cities worldwide.
This “CHANNEL” is not located between England and France, but much easier reachable and conquerable in the middle of the most liveable city in the world on the Vienna Danube Island. The wild water channel is 250 m long and about 9 m wide with a height difference of 4.70 m. Its water volume varies between 4 and 12 cubic meters per second, depending on the number of pumps connected. The Vienna Watersport Arena also offers a perfect infrastructure with neo-rental, timekeeping, changing rooms, showers, catering, sound systems, lighting … to be able to organize a first-class event. Usually, the Austrian Canoe Association trains here, in the summer months also kayak, rafting and beach volleyball are offered for companies and individuals.
“Swim the Channel” – the swimmer challenges
The power of the water in the channel is impressive and although the course does not appear too long you arrive at the finish rather breathless. Finally, you put back longer passages underwater. As in a “normal” torrent, there’s also one or the other spot on the track where you will touch the ground.
With appropriate “route choice” – there’s a briefing for it – these basic touches can be minimized, but never completely ruled out. Since abrasions cannot be completely ruled out, it is up to anyone to swim with a wetsuit (armless Long John can be borrowed).
Whether there will be a “neo” or/and a “pure” class depends on the demand. I myself have swum twice without neo and without a briefing and have just traded a small, barely perceptible abrasion on my toes. To protect the head, we will prescribe a thicker, shock-absorbing neoprene cap.
The event will be secured by my competent comrades from the Austrian Water Rescue, in addition to the “command post” the entire route is monitored by video.
Race the Channel
In the race-class, there is a combination rating of “slalom” – and “regatta” – swimming. When slalom swimming, it is also necessary to traverse in order to achieve certain touchpoints, the regatta swimming is about the fastest way to master the route start-finish. Two races per discipline, the faster one in the classification.
Beat the channel
A swim for everybody who seeks a new challenge just for fun. Most of the equipment can be rented on site. Swimming is monitored by the water rescue and by video. With the settlement of the entry fee, one acquires the right to swim the channel twice.
Bet the Channel
A funny swimming duck race in favor of the Austrian Water Rescue: Risk five euros and bet on the duck with your start number! In the starting pool, all ducks are dumped at the same time and left to their fate in the whitewater. The owners of the ducks, which are the first to reach their destination, win attractive prizes.
Stay tuned – register – give feedback!
People register, tell me your suggestions, and help us get this event together. More detailed information about dates, entry fees etc. will be available soon in the blog. So stay tuned, create with, join in!