I knew Wednesday was going to be a challenge. We had arrived at our hotel at 4 a.m. after a raucous charter flight and all everyone wanted was a good, long night of sleep. But it's Swimsuit Launch Week and sleep tends to get sacrificed. The afternoon was spent at the Fan Festival on South Beach while the evening included a barbecue at the hotel followed by a Wiz Khalifa concert and after-hours party. Yup, it was a long-ass day. Here's a look behind the scenes.

SI Swimsuit 2016 LaunchThe Lead-Up | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 


Welcome to Swim City!

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The crowd waits to get in.

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Come for the ping-pong. Stay for the swimsuit models.

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A schedule of the day's autograph signings ... coming soon.

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Hailey poses for a photo.

Andy Gray/SI


Did I mention there were puppies? Emily, Kate and Erin were quite pleased.

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Andy Gray/SI


Nina and Hannah pose during an autograph signing.

Andy Gray/SI


Chanel dances on stage. The dude in the blue shirt is not impressed.

Andy Gray/SI


To Chrissy or not to Chrissy. That is the question.

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Emily and Kate never take a bad photo.

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Hannah Ferg gives me a smile. Gigi has no idea I'm taking a photo.

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Hoopes makes a new friend.

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Nina's got a microphone. Look out!

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Rookies Sofia and Bo strike a pose.

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Here's Sam and Hannah moments  before Wiz Khalifa's performance.

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Body paint pals Giancarlo Stanton and Erin Heatherton reunite.

Andy Gray/SI


No idea how Nina saw me taking this pic but I'm glad she did.

Andy Gray/SI