THE Copa Nadal swimming race takes place on Christmas Day morning in the in the Old Port of Barcelona in what has become the oldest open water competition in Spain.

Traditional Christmas Copa Nadal
People dressed as Santa Claus attend the 112th Christmas traditional “Copa Nadal”. Photos: Cordon Press

Brave swimmers, some dressed in Santa hats and others in full on Santa suits, brave icy waters for the 200 metre dash.

The event has been taking place for more than a century since the first race which should have taken place on 26 December 1907 but was postponed due to bad weather until January 1908.

Organised by the Barcelona Swimming Club, the race is free and open to people of all ages, competing in different age categories. It has since taken place every year except during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939.

This year saw around 450 competitors take part.

Here are some of the best photos from the 2021 event.


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