We are very grateful to all the generous Sponsors of the 8th Pattaya Cross Bay Swim 2011, which was postponed until  March 2012, without which we could not have raised over 300,000 Baht. This enabled us to attract Rotary Sponsors in Italy and Scotland. Combined with the Cross Bay Swim contribution of 300,000 Baht and a substantial grant from The Rotary Foundation, this led to 3 large water filter projects for Schools and Communities in Thailand with total value of 4 million Baht. Thank you for making this possible!

The 3 Clean Drinking Water projects are currently in the execution phase. This involves:

  • Donation of 1,200 Gravity Drip Water Filters to households in flood-affected areas of Central Thailand. This project will be completed by the end of September.
  • Donation of 1,500 Gravity Drip Water Filters to households in poor rural areas of East and Northeast Thailand, this will be completed by the end of October.
  • Donation of 22 School Water Filtration Systems in East Thailand, completed by December.


Report on the Swim

The overcast skies above Pattaya were a welcome sight for the swimmers and organizers of the 8th Rotary Charity Pattaya Cross Bay swim held on Sunday, March 25.

The Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya usually holds this event towards the end of the year; however, the floods that devastated Thailand last year meant that they focused their attention in helping the flood victims.

 



Long distance swimmers at the Sea Rescue Centre

So with only a few weeks in the planning, the Club along with the swimmers gathered at the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya for the official opening ceremony.  The Club’s President, Gudmund Eiksund officially opened the event with a short speech, followed by Past District Governor Peter Malhotra and Radchada Chomjinda, Director of the Human Help Network Foundation Thailand.

This year’s event consisted of three races; the first was a fun race from the Hard Rock along to Chaba Beach at Dusit Thani.

This category was made for those who wanted to participate but not really compete.



Backdrop at the Hard Rock Hotel

The police were on hand to ensure that the traffic was managed to allow the swimmers and spectators to cross Beach Road safely, and as the whistle blew the sea rescue team was a safe distance away on paddle boards and jet skis to make sure the swimmers were all okay.

The winner of this heat was 10-year-old Erika Heltne, followed by 12-year-old Ratchaphol Nantanakarn in second place and Vasavan Thititamornrat in third place who is also 12 years old.

All the swimmers were presented with a medal, souvenir t-shirt and organizers made sure that they had plenty of water to drink.

Back at the Hard Rock, swimmers were getting ready for the 1.3km swim. In this category the swimmers had to swim out past the buoy that marks the safe swim zones along Pattaya Beach, then make their way to the beach at the Dusit.

A 38-year-old Russian man named Aleksei Balykov came in first with a winning time of 18 minutes and 40 seconds, and just under two minutes later was 14-year-old Liam Samuels, closely followed by 37-year-old Mark Lunev. The first female was Mark’s wife, Natalia, with a time of just 20 minutes and 50 seconds.



The canopy is ready at Dusit Thani’s Chaba Beach

By now the other more competitive swimmers were receiving a briefing way over on the other side of the bay near the sea rescue unit close to Bali Hai pier, as they got ready to navigate the 3.5 km swim across Pattaya Bay to the beach at the Dusit.

The skies that had been overcast all morning started to darken and a few specks of rain were starting to blow through.

This didn’t deter the twenty or so swimmers who set off with much gusto, and at the beach at the Dusit all the spectators were keeping a keen eye on the sea rescue teams who were traveling along beside the swimmers.

The first swimmer was soon in sight and with a winning time of 42 minutes and 11 seconds, five times winner Nic Wilson ran up onto the beach claiming victory.



Some of the participants of the Fun Swim

Nic is the swimming coach at Pattana International School in Bangkok and it was one of his students, 15-year-old Luc Gebbie who came in second, a mere 50 seconds behind his tutor.

In third place was Adounis Cedolin at 58 minutes and 27 seconds and in the ladies category were Hannah Way in first place coming in at just over one hour followed by Kristina Solheim, then Alena Vigada and Nook Buranasiri.



Arrival at Chaba Beach with beach master and time recorders 

With over a dozen swimmers still out in the water the sea rescuers offered to take them on board as by now there were rumblings of thunder and the waves were getting high. However, the majority decided to continue and finish the race, safe in the knowledge that the sea rescue team was keeping a close eye on them.

Once everybody was back on dry land and accounted for they were treated to lunch at the Dusit whilst the administrators complied the winning places and others enjoyed the ice cold beer sponsored by Paulaner Bier.



Members of the Sea Rescue Team

The event was also given the full support of City Hall, the Pattaya Sea Rescue Unit, the Sawang Boriboon Thamasathan Foundation and the Pattaya Tourist Volunteers.

Then it was the matter of the prize giving where the trophies were awarded and thanks given to all the sponsors and those who had helped make this a special day, one that raises funds to support the clean drinking water and many other humanitarian projects across Thailand.

Thank you again for your contribution to this great humanitarian endeavour