PRESS RELEASE
17 January 2011

No Sognefjord Swim Festival in 2011

Sognefjord Swim Festival will not be held in 2011, the event's organisers, Sogn Fjord Swimming Club have announced.

Award winning experience

Sognefjord Swim Festival, a 3-day open water swimming event held in the heart of fjord Norway has been organised 4 times since the first festival in 2005. The festival's activities, particularly the Sognefjord Challenge, a 4 km open water swim across one of the world's deepest fjords has previously attracted local, national and international participants. In 2006, the Fjord Norway tourist board for the fjord region of Norway awarded the festival its gold prize for product development.

Community spirit

The festival which involved three local communities, each located on their respective shores of the Sognefjord, was developed to show that the fjord could bring communities together, rather than separate them. A complex, yet well coordinated project; the festival was a fun and safe event. "The success of the festival has always been dependent on the different groups and individuals involved," comments Sarah Jane Hails, President of Sogn Fjord Swimming Club. "We have been grateful to have had the positive cooperation and support from local Red Cross groups, sports clubs, village societies, tourist bodies, and businesses," says Hails.

Lack of resources

"Organising an event like Sognefjord Swim Festival involves a lot of coordinating," explains Hails. "Over the past 6 years, the club has gained a lot of experience and expertise in arranging and participating in fjord swimming activities. However, many of the volunteers who have previously been involved in organising the festival are no longer available. We have tried to find replacement volunteers to help organise the festival in 2011, but without success. Without the necessary resources and people with the experience, expertise and capacity to get involved, we are unfortunately unable to arrange a festival this year," explains Hails.

Smaller event possible

If you are still dreaming of swimming across Norway's mighty Sognefjord, not all hope is lost. "Even though, the club will not be arranging a festival this year, we do aim to continue promoting the fjord as an arena for sustainable leisure activities," informs Sogn Fjord Swimming Club's vice chairman, Torbjørn Hasund. "Due to demand and interest in fjord swimming, we are considering organising a smaller fjord swim event. However, no matter how big or small the event, we still need people to help arrange it. Anyone wishing to organise a fjord swim event this summer, should get in touch as soon as possible or attend Sogn Fjord Swimming Club's annual meeting which will be held in March 2011," encourages Hasund.

Contact:

Questions or comments for Sogn Fjord Swimming Club should be sent by e-mail to sogn@fjordswim.no, or telephone Torbjørn Hasund on (+47) 930 046 85.