07 july 2019
The Byron Cup is a sports swimming event in open water that takes place every year, in the month of July / August, in the splendid setting of the Gulf of La Spezia also called the Gulf of Poets. Considered by many the race for excellence of the circuit in open water FIN (Italian Swimming Federation) is not a challenge for everyone, the crossing provides a path of about 8 km that crosses the Gulf from the town of Porto Venere to that of Lerici. The event was born from a story that has as its protagonist Lord George Byron, one of the most famous poets of the English romantic movement of the nineteenth century. Legend has it that Lord Byron had swam across the Gulf of La Spezia, from Porto Venere to the hamlet of San Terenzo (Lerici), to reach his friend and poet Percy Shelley who lived there. The fact, although never happened, has provided the right starting point to give birth, thanks to the commitment of Senator G.B. Bibolini, what then became the most awaited event of the swimming season in open water. The path is of high level both from the point of view of the landscape, strong of the beautiful Gulf that offers naturalistic views of high profile, both from the competitive point of view thanks to the stretch of sea expected for the race that separates the small beach of Porto Venere from that at the foot of the Hotel Shelley terrace in Lerici. Every year the event brings more than three hundred athletes to Lerici, the number is always growing and now for almost forty years is a fixed and prestigious appointment for the swimmers, the participation in the race not only come from all over Italy but now become frequent presences also from Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Poland, USA and Australia. Athletes of the Italian swimming team take part in the event and more and more often world and Olympic champions.
Free-water swimming demonstration that is part of the national circuit of the Italian Swimming Federation and classified as a cross-country race