ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands - The Coral Reef Swim race between Buck Island and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is planned for November 12, 2023.
With three distances to choose from – one, two, and five miles – the race offers friendly competition for age group and competitive swimmers.
Founded by Elizabeth Armstrong, owner of The Buccaneer Beach & Golf Resort, and fellow swimmer Kim Sanford 27 years ago, the event draws attention to the reality of threatened Caribbean reefs. Participants in the longest race will come face to face with the beauty and uniqueness of these natural treasures as they dive into the pristine waters of Buck Island, a living coral reef designated an underwater park by the U.S. National Park Service.
Fragile natural resources, coral reefs funnel significant amounts of money into local economies, generating billions from fisheries, dive tourism, and shoreline protection services across the region. A groundbreaking study led by The Nature Conservancy revealed that reef-associated tourism in the Caribbean generates US$8 billion per year, nearly 25% of all tourism expenditure, from over 11 million visitors.
The Coral Reef Swim attracts fitness swimmers competing for fun, as well as world-class, open-water athletes. Participants as young as 11 years old and seniors as old as 75 are among this year’s contestants.
All swimmers finish at The Buccaneer Beach & Golf Resort’s palm-lined beach where a steel band and refreshments await. The one- and two-mile races follow the shoreline of St. Croix’s East End, while the five-mile race begins at Buck Island.
The Coral Reef Swim race offers an experience for all levels of swimmers. The entry fee is $125 per swimmer ($85 for the one-mile), which includes pre-swim events, course previews and race talks, and a cocktail party at The Buccaneer’s Sugar Mill. The fee also includes a t-shirt, swim cap, taxi to the marina from The Buccaneer, boat ride to the race start, and an awards luncheon.