Formerly known as the International Swimming Hall of Fame Ocean Mile Swim, the Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim is the perfect swim-race packed weekend to kick-start the new year.
There is the option of competing over four race distances over the course of the weekend, with only the most hardcore of enthusiasts electing to compete in multiple events.
The weekend is organised by the International Swimming Hall of Fame and it is recognised as being one of the best swimming events in the United States, as it holds a place in esteemed company alongside some elite races in America's top 100 open water swims.
The race caters for keen swimmers, with a myriad of different age-group categories, ranging from U-10 boys/girls to 80 to 84-year-old men/women, with a total of 10 age-groups or categories catered for.
This event runs for the 46th time next year, having started back in 1967. As the name suggests, choppy waters and difficult conditions should be expected, and given the time of year it's held, it's a rarity that the conditions are favourable for competitors.
This is part of the challenge of this race, and something the competitors embrace as they are often faced with a host of obstacles to overcome before even thinking about the distance of their chosen race.
Four to six-foot waves, rip-currents, high winds, rain and jellyfish, including the infamously deadly man o'war, face competitors as they brave the difficult conditions in the hope of earning themselves a 'Survivor' medal, given to all race finishers.
Various tweaks to the event have contributed to creating a great festival atmosphere, with a perfect mix of young and old alike taking part.
Races cover distances over a quarter-of-a-mile, half-a-mile, one mile and 5k. All races are swum in the open waters of the warm Atlantic Ocean off Fort Lauderdale beach in Florida.
Participants are shuttled from the car park at the International Swimming Hall of Fame to the starting point at Terramar Street. Swimmers then race their respective distances before finishing up on Hall of Fame Beach.
January 3 and 4, 2014
How to get there/ Where to stay
Return flights from Dublin to Fort Lauderdale are sitting around the €550 mark, which is reasonable considering it is during a busy time of year in the travel world.
There is a vast array of accommodation to choose from with something to match everyone's taste and financial capabilities; ranging from self-catering accommodation to hotels, and hostels to houses.
Phone: (001) 954 462-6536
Highs Making a healthy start to the New Year with a challenging open water-swimming event.
LOWS The difficult racing conditions participants are often faced with.