Swimmers will once again have a chance to race each other in the Laguna Madre’s open water. Organizers have announced they will be bringing their popular swimming festival back to the Island.

Last year, more than 100 swimmers participated in the Island’s Open Water Planet Festival hosted by NBC Olympic Commentator Rowdy Gaines and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg.

This year the organizers are billing the Open Water Festival on the Island as its finale of four swimming competitions called the Triton Series that will be held in Texas and Colorado.

Open Water Planet is an event management and lifestyle specific brand, dedicated to supporting the open water swimming and open water sports community.

The new, unique locations offer swimmers an opportunity to compete in a river, a lake and an ocean, bay all in the same series.

The Triton River ONE on the Comal River is in April, the Triton Boulder hits Colorado in August, the Triton Austin in September to benefit Colin’s Hope and now the South Padre Island Open Water Festival in November.

Additional activities, including tubing through chutes in the river, sprint racing across sand at the beach and relay options in the longer events remind everyone to make sure they are having fun along the way.

Casey Taker, one of the organizers, said the Triton Series is designed for both local and traveling adventure competitors and each location offers a full weekend of events. Local partnerships provide unique spins on local activities. It is shaping up to be something completely different in the aquatic community.

“The Triton Series is designed to create a new type of aquatic athlete with a deep understanding of not just open water swimming, but of how to handle anything that the water and surrounding conditions might throw at them,” said Bobby Brewer, OWP CEO. “These events are designed to train the body and mind to be comfortable, safe and competitive in all water conditions.”

The swimming series offers swimmers the opportunity to swim a range of distances in a variety of conditions, and even throws in a few obstacles along the way.

Following the 2016 Island event, however, OWP had remained fairly quiet about their 2017 schedule.

But they burst back onto the scene with the announcement of their four 2017 Triton Series events.

“We weren’t trying to build suspense. I promise,” Taker said as she laughed with OWP chief operating officer. “Our original vision for this company was to provide experiences for swimmers unlike any other.”

Taker said after their South Padre event, they realized the Open Water Festival was so much more.

“We want to provide opportunities to not only swim in some amazing locations, but produce a more well-rounded program that allows swimmers to enjoy a new twist on this sport,” Taker said.

“So we took our time in developing this series, and we were super choosy about where and how we wanted to host these events.”

By RAUL GARCIA Staff writer