Support the Oceans

Posted on March 5, 2024

At the annual Jax Sheko Challenge

This year the Jax Sheko Challenge celebrates its ninth year on July 11th and Flex is sponsoring! With the largest amount of pre-registered participants in the competition’s history, the 2015 open water swimming, ridge running and ocean paddling ‘trisolothon’ will be simultaneously highlighting the importance of preserving the world’s oceans more strongly than ever before.

“Hong Kong’s biggest natural asset is the ocean, yet for years we have not treated it in that manner,” says Doug Woodring, race director and Director and Co-founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance. “Now that our waters are becoming cleaner, and with the amazing coastline that Hong Kong has to offer, the open water swimming community has grown tremendously in recent years, taking advantage of all of these great aspects of the city and environment. However, there is still a lot of trash in our waters, and having ambassadors for the ocean, in the form of those who use it for sport, is a great way to help spread the word about its benefits, and also the fact that we all still need to do more to protect and improve it.”

Elizabeth MacDonald will be competing in the open water swimming discipline for the sixth time this year and she is happy to be helping put a spotlight on Hong Kong’s waters. “The water quality is cleaner around Shek O than other parts of Hong Kong, but it saddens me to see rubbish washing up on such a beautiful location,” she says. “It’s always a great day and a fun atmosphere at Shek O afterwards. I’m looking forward to reuniting with my team to hopefully improve on our performance last year.”

Participants choose one discipline and set off from various starting points. Swimmers do battle with waves and currents starting out from the shores of Big Wave Bay rounding the coastline to finish at the Back Beach. The runners scale The Dragon’s Back trail running the 10kms from Big Wave Bay to Back Beach. And the paddlers start in Stanley on surf skis or outriggers with 9kms between them and the Back Beach. Converging on the same small bay finishing line creates a fantastic atmosphere with casual water polo games held throughout the day.

Reinforcing the environmental message, the Jax Sheko Challenge is one of the few sports events in Hong Kong to avoid using any plastic water bottles, instead bringing Taiwanese Fold-n-Fold re-useable cups for the filtered water supplied by Life Solutions. “This is groundbreaking for a sports event in Asia and something any event around the world can mimic,” says Doug.

Monies raised will go to non-profit Ocean Recovery Alliance to aid their local and global efforts alongside the WWF to improve the oceans, something that the ambassadors and athletes taking part in the Jax Sheko Challenge, and all of us at Flex, are eager to support.

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