The 7th annual Charity Cross Bay Swim in Pattaya took place this year on Sunday Nov. 21. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and given support by both Pattaya City and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the event as ever included both adults and children of all nationalities participating in this colourful and environmentally friendly activity.
The weather was sunny with light winds and moderate waves, which was a real boost to all the swimmers who took part. The Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya again kindly offered its Hard Rock Café area and refreshments to the swimmers for the pre-race ceremonies and activities.
Nick Wilson, left, broke his own record in the Male Long Swim event.
The opening ceremonies were conducted by Past District Governor, Pratheep (Peter) Malhotra, ably assisted by Community Services Director, Philip Wall Morris.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome welcomed the opportunity to attend the ceremonies and spoke about the significant contribution the Charity Cross Bay Swim makes to the tourist image of Pattaya. He officially opened the event and later blew the whistle to start the 1km swim from the Hard Rock to the Dusit Resort.
Also adding their support to the proceedings were Serm Phenjati of the Dusit D2 Baraquda Pattaya hotel and Nopporn Kanchanamane of Thai Airways Pattaya.
As in previous years two challenges were available to enthusiastic swimmers; a 3.5km swim from the Sea Rescue Unit near Bali Hai Pier and a 1km from The Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. Both swims finished at the Dusit Thani Pattaya Resort on Chaba Beach in North Pattaya.
Hannah Way, left, receives the Female Long Swim award from Nopporn Kanchanamane of Thai Airways Pattaya.
Safety precautions were significantly upgraded this year with many new enhancements. The Pattaya Sea Rescue team at Bali Hai monitored the contestants from their high-speed rescue boats and jet-skis for the full duration of the race. They made sure that all the swimmers arrived safely on shore.
The finish line for both races was marked by two red balloon towers on the beach at Dusit Thani Pattaya. All registered swimmers were welcomed with a commemorative swim T shirt, fresh towels, a cold drink, and were later presented with a very impressive medallion.
The overall winner this year was once again Nicholas Wilson, who broke his own record and passed the balloon towers in just over 42 minutes for the 3.5km long swim.
Wongsakorn Hounkin, left, was adjudged the winner in the Male Short Course category after a photo finish involving 12 swimmers.
There was a steward’s enquiry in the Male Short Swim category after 12 swimmers jostled as they came out of the water and all thought they had crossed the line first. Eventually a semblance of order was restored and the swimmers were able to agree upon the final results list themselves.
Long Swim (Male)
1st Nick Wilson
2nd Steve Woods
3rd Komkit Phasan
Long Swim (Female)
1st Hannah Way
2nd Kristina Soliheim
3rd Sophie Walker
Short Swim (Male)
1st Wongsakorn Hounkin
2nd Puchong Pakdeenork
3rd Paul Cardwell
3rd Charkit Pansan
Short Swim (Female)
1st Nicole Russell
2nd Geneivieve Ahl
3rd Natalie Luneva
Following their exertions in the ocean, the swimmers were then treated to a gala buffet lunch hosted by the Dusit Thani Pattaya, who, like they do every year for this event, generously made their numerous facilities and staff available.
Nicole Russell, left, took the Female Short Swim award.
Food and beverage services were also offered by the Rotary staff and the Paulaner Garden Restaurant to spectators and supporters lined up on the Dusit Thani Pattaya beach. Medical staff and an ambulance, provided by Bangkok Pattaya Hospital Emergency Services, were also on standby at the hotel.
The charity swim enjoys the privilege of being the only event of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard. It is a fun and uniquely family event and a great opportunity for swimmers of all ages to take up a serious challenge for a noble cause.
The proceeds from day will be used to finance humanitarian projects serviced by the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya to help alleviate the suffering and needs of the underprivileged in our community and elsewhere in the Kingdom. One of the major ongoing projects is the installation of pure drinking water outlets in schools in rural areas.
Philip Wall Morris, Community Services Director, Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, and Brendan Kelly, Cross Bay Swim Event Manager, expressed their gratitude to all those who provided support and help to make this year’s event a great success, both as a swim and a fundraiser. Tributes were paid to Thai Airways for their very generous sponsorship and to the Dusit D2 Baracuda hotel for their advice and help in fund raising management.