History 2004 – 2013
Back in 2004 the first Fiji Swim was held in the waters around Beachcomber Island. Won by Fiji’s four time Olympian Carl Probert the swim was the largest first year swim held in the South Pacific and showed the promise of things to come by attracting Olympians Neil Rogers and gold medalist John Konrads through to recreational swimmers. The day established the event’s reputation for fun as much as competition with the sense of camaraderie among swimmers high following their collective efforts from the Nukuasiga sandbar to Beachcomber Island.
The 2005 event built on the first year’s success attracting over 100 participants including two of the all time greats of world swimming, triple Olympic gold medalists Shane Gould of Australia and Debbie Meyer of the USA.
Start of 1km Swim- swimmers swimming out to the pontoon
Shane Gould showing swimmers the course: Fiji Swims 2005
The concept for the Fiji Swims was inspired by the popularity of ocean swimming in Australia, where almost every week over summer one beach after another holds ocean swims with hundreds, if not more than a thousand people competing. Such is the popularity of these events that people are flying overseas to compete in ocean swims at various destinations, so why not Fiji?
In 2006, open water ocean swimming in Fiji took another step forward with the augural 18km Fiji Swim – Sofitel Resort & Spa to Beachcomber Island Relay. This event brought even more people from around the globe to Fiji including New Zealand’s greatest ever swimmer Danyon Loader who won 2 gold medals at the Atlanta Olympics.
The relay saw 6 teams and 2 solo swimmers departing the beach at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa to swim through the beautiful Mamanuca Islands before surprising everyone sun baking on Beachcomber Island.
Another addition to the Fiji Swims in 2006 was the 1km Fiji Swim – Treasure Island to Beachcomber Island race where participants are allowed to wear fins. All up the 2006 Fiji Swims attracted nearly 200 competitors from Fiji and around the world.
Subsequent years has seen Fiji Swims grow and develop and in 2013 we celebrate our 10 year Anniversary. Looking to the future, with more interest from overseas swimmers and the long term support from our key sponsors, the Fiji Swims are set to grow their reputation as one of the most beautiful ocean swims in the world.