10 teams compete in Swim Across Sarangani Bay

The swimmers will start from Kamanga in Maasim town to Tango in Glan, one of the bay's narrowest points.

Ten teams will be competing in the swimming relay race, involving 50 swimmers, for the P50,000 top prize. The second and third placers will get P30,000 and P15,000.

The swimmers will attempt to break last year's record of 2 hours, 50 minutes and 15.23 seconds by the Dadiangas Torpedoes. Last year’s winning team, however, will not be able to attempt a grand slam because its team members are now merging with colleagues from Davao City, carrying the team name Sta. Cruz Seafoods, Inc.

A mass start shall be called at exactly 5 a.m. on Saturday at the Kamanga Beach in Maasim. The race will end at the Reycon Beach in Tango, Glan.

Two teams are coming from Koronadal City, four from Maasim, one from Glan and two from the Philippine Navy.

"Seven organizer boats are ready for the marshals, rescue team, medics and media. Maritime police, Coast Guard and Navy gunboats will also secure the race area," said swim organizer Nemrad Butil.

The swim-across-the-bay is a brainchild of Giuseppe Chew, former capitol agriculture chief and marine biologist who now lives abroad. In an email, Chew recalled that his proposal to hold the Sarangani Bay Festival was almost ignored, as other officials even laughed at it.

But the race across the bay has apparently become a very successful event, he noted.

"Who would ever believe the historic Sarangani Bay, the deepest bay in the Philippines, can be conquered with human prowess?" he noted. The bay was mentioned in Pigafetta epic journal of Magellan's expedition.

"Even the local Coast Guard Commander then did not believe it can be done when I called for a meeting to prepare for the medical emergency plan," Chew added. (MindaNews)