The State NZ Ocean Swim Series makes its return to Canterbury in 2012 with the State La Grande Swim in Akaroa, and Christchurch residents have been offered a special incentive to enter.

The State La Grande Swim, formerly known as the Corsair Classic, will take place on Sunday 19 February 2012. Organisers remain committed to Canterbury's inclusion in the popular nationwide series, despite the event being cancelled due to storms in 2010, and earthquakes in 2011.

To recognize the difficult year the city has had, Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn residents who enter the State La Grande Swim are being offered a 50 percent discount on the registration fee. Residents who have already registered are eligible for a partial refund.

"We're thrilled to have this event remain in Canterbury," says Mayor Bob Parker. "We've all travelled through rough seas recently and State La Grande Swim organisers committing to Akaroa as their new venue is a wonderful boost for the region. Their generous offer of discounted registration for our residents means there's no excuse for not taking the plunge."

Swimmers can choose between the children's 200-metre State OceanKids, the 'Give It A Go' 300-metre swim, the 'Step It Up' 1000-metre swim or the more challenging 'I'm Going Long' 2.8-kilometre swim around Akaroa Harbour. Between 750 and 900 swimmers are expected to enter the event.

Scott Rice, Event Director of the State NZ Ocean Swim Series, says swimming is a great way to get fit, de-stress and socialise. "We hope that the offer of discounted registration helps as many Cantabrians as possible start working towards their personal goals as they rebuild their lives."

Registration for the State La Grande Swim closes at midnight on Friday 17 February 2012. Please visit for more information.