Organizers of the annual Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon and Musselman Triathlon (Geneva, NY) announce the addition of a major open water swim race in downtown Portland slated for August 22, 2009. Four generous partners make this event possible: Aqua Zone, Pacific Power, Oregon Sports Action, and a gift from Bill and Julie Young.
The Aqua Zone Portland Mile offers a $25,000 purse to competitors. A world-class field of professionals is expected to attend, with Trent Grimsey already committed to the starting line. Mr. Grimsey is the reigning champion of the 2008 RCP Tiburon Mile, the 2008 Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the 2008 Eyeline 1000 Noosa Ocean Swim, and the 2009 Australian 5k and 10k Open Water Swimming Championships. He will represent Australia at the World Swimming Championships in Rome, Italy, in July.
The one-mile and half-mile races kick off the 2009 Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon weekend, now in its third year. Situated in the heart of downtown Portland, both the triathlon and the swim enjoy one of the finest venues in the world for open water swimming. Beneath Portland’s signature downtown bridges, in the Willamette River alongside Waterfront Park and the Eastbank Esplanade, some of the greatest professional and masters swimmers of our time will square off in what could be the fastest open water mile ever recorded. The course will begin at RiverPlace Marina and follow a rectangle beneath the spectator-friendly Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges.
In addition to the cash purse, all age group winners will take home a Renegade skinsuit from Aqua Zone. Worn by 18 NCAA Division I swimming teams, the Renegade produces 50 times less friction than human skin. Aqua Zone, a premier swim product brand distributed to stores, swim schools, and teams throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, joins three other major sponsors in providing this sizeable purse:
Pacific Power is one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, and as part of PacifiCorp provides more than 1.7 million customers with reliable, efficient energy. Pacific Power is an active supporter of Pacific NW communities and events.
Oregon Sports Action works to attract and support Olympic sports throughout Oregon. Founded to bring a Winter Olympics bid to Oregon, OSA is led by a skilled and passionate Board of former Olympians, including Jack Elder (1972), Clem Eischen (1948), Katy Steding (1996), and Sean O’Neill (1988, 1992).
Bill and Julie Young have been passionate and active stewards of the Willamette River for many years. Through their advised fund, the Willamette River Fun(d) of the Oregon Community Foundation, Bill and Julie advocate for healthy ecosystems, public access for all, and a spirit of fun in everything they do.
The Aqua Zone Portland Mile will headline Portland’s city-wide RiverFest and be covered live on the internet (Slowtwitch.com) and Twitter. Veteran open water swimming journalist, former world champion, and USA Swimming World Open Water Team coach Steven Munatones will attend to produce the live Twitter coverage as well as conduct a comprehensive open water swim clinic during race weekend. A press conference will be held Friday afternoon, August 21.