Cool temperatures and tricky currents made the conditions for the 2021 ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championships challenging, but some teams managed to go fast despite. The water temperatures were around 14 degrees C (57 F) and the air temperatures in the morning in a similar range, maybe even a bit cooler. But as the sun came out and the day progressed the air temperature moved to 19 degrees C (66 F). Some of the swim segments however were made more difficult with strong currents.
That however did not bother Oscar Olsson (SWE) and Adriel Young (AUS) who grabbed the overall lead early on and then pushed hard to the finish. Their time of 7:38:43 broke the 2018 course record by 42 seconds.
"To win the World Championships means so much. The hours and preparation we’ve put in and to execute on the day, its a magical feeling. The icing on the cake was to take the world record," said a clearly happy Oscar Olsson to slowtwitch.com.
The mixed division team Desirée Andersson (SWE) and Victor Dahl (SWE) had a superb day and in the end finished 4th overall with the time of 8:14:57sec and an impressive new course record by 1:18.
The women's division was won by Kristin Larsson (SWE) and Helena Sivertsson (SWE) and although they had a tough battle on hand they pretty much managed to lead from start to finish. Their time was 9:00:47 and 10:40 ahead of the next women's team, but 4 minutes behind the existing course record.
Oscar Olsson and Adriel Young on the way to the title and they had to push hard. Adriel Young and Oscar Olsson were 3rd in 2018, and Olsson was second with Paul Krochak in 2016, and 3rd with Martin Flinta in 2017, so this win must have been sweet.
An early start in a small sleepy Swedish village woke everyone up with a rush of adrenaline.
We mentioned that water conditions were not easy. In addition to cold temps and tricky currents there was also quite a bit of chop.
With a ton of transitions the athletes are constantly in and out of the water, and the transition game really matters here. An hour of time can easily be lost by the time the teams reach the end of the race.
Kristin Larsson and Helena Sivertsson tethered and in full flight on the way to the title. Larsson has her wetsuit open and her bib up, likely to grab some nutrition from her Ark Kangaroo top.
Back in the water for this male team member and all athletes are required to enter the water with their feet first. Diving is not allowed as it is too difficult to judge what kind of rock sections lurk below.
The French team Hugo Tormento and Matthieu Pollain on the way to third place overall and in the male division. They raced smart all day and finished in 7:49:08.
The leading mixed team of Desirée Andersson and Victor Dahl heading towards another swim. Sometimes you can see the the next swim distance ahead and where the exit is, but at other times you can't.
Amanda Nilsson and Kenny Meijer are about to get into the water and they ended up 5th in the mixed team division and 9th place overall.
The ÖtillÖ World Championship course changes constantly and offers a little bit of everything. Very technical running, easy gravel roads, some bush whacking, some scrambling and much more.
A guide rope is appreciated in certain spots but with arms tired from the total 10km of swimming not always easy.
The water exits are tricky in many spots and it is important to stay focused. A slip and fall here could easily end someone's race early.
Teams sometimes make a big effort to match, and that might include fancy matching socks.
Evelina Järvinen and Therese Bergling on the way to second place in the women's division. Focused and holding on tight to the rope. You may also notice the backwards worn goggles. This is a trick to keep them from fogging up.
The amount of island here in the Stockholm Archipelago is amazing and athletes in the race get a very special tour of them.
A mixed team followed by a male team weaving through a rock formation in the water.
There are indeed not just slippery rocks on the run course. Sometimes best appreciated from well above.
This German team with Matthias Grünwald and Dirk Hofmann pretty much alone with nature and on the way to 30th place in the male category.
The climbing out of the water fun seems endless, but eventually the end is within sight.
Victor Dahl and Desirée Andersson at that point could sense the victory but could not slow down.
Final results ÖtillÖ 2021
1. Oscar Olsson (SWE) and Adriel Young (AUS) Team Simcoachen 7:38:43
2. Fredrik Axegård (SWE) and Lars Ekman (SWE) Ark Swimrun Fredrik Lars 7:44:55
3. Hugo Tormento (FRA) and Matthieu Pollain (FRA) Ark Swimrun France 7:49:08
1. Desirée Andersson (SWE) and Victor Dahl (SWE) Team Envol Head Swimming 8:14:57
2. Sabina Rapelli (SUI) and Alexis Charrier (FRA) Team Envol Switzerland Head 8:32:36
3. Marika Wagner (SWE) and Alexander (SWE) Ark Swimrun Marika & Alexander 8:33:50
1. Kristin Larsson (SWE) and Helena Sivertsson (SWE) Ark Swimrun Helena & Kristin 9:00:47
2. Evelina Järvinen (SWE) and Therese Bergling (SWE) Wild Swimrun Westcoast 9:11:27
3. Anna Hellström (SWE) and Jenny Ramstedt (SWE) Head Swimming 9:16:27
All images © Pierre Mangez / ÖtillÖ except for 6, 12 and 13 - they are © Jean-Marie Gueye / ÖtillÖ