Organisers are hoping for a bumper field for Saturday's Across the Lake swim at Te Anau.
The long-running event last year attracted 21 starters, but in the last few days organiser Doug Fox has fielded at least that number of phone calls from potential entrants outside the province.
Many have been eager to get in a solid open water swim ahead of the Challenge Wanaka iron distance event and Lake Wanaka Half on January 18.
Sandfly Cafe has stepped up to sponsor the event, with trophies for the leading male, female and junior swimmers.
"I've fielded about 20 calls from guys from Canterbury and Otago who are coming down for Challenge Wanaka," Fox said.
Members of the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club will bolster the field for the 1.9km race, which starts on the far side of the lake and finishes at the Real Journeys jetty on the Te Anau foreshore.
Lake conditions are high after recent rain, but the lake was relatively free of debris, Fox said.
Entries ($25) are available on Saturday, with registrations taken from 9am. The race gets underway at 10am.
- The Southland Times