DNOWS Header

Image Map

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Young Sitivi Wins Apolima Strait

Courtesy of Seti Afoa, Apolima Strait Swim, Samoa.

Six soloists and three teams completed the 22.3 km swim Apolima Strait Swim from Upolu to Savai'i in Samoa.

The youngest of the pack led the way and has the potential to become the best hope for Samoa open water swimming on the international scene.

Not only was the 16-year-old Sitivi So'oa'emalelagi the youngest person to swim across the Apolima Strait, he also became the first Samoan champion and was the second fastest time in history.

Robin Rasmussen Rose and Tiffany McQueen were the first American women and Christina Harris became the first South Islander from New Zealand to swim to Savaii. Team Jo Armstrong was an interesting mix of three swimmers: Jo Armstrong is 60, Gerry Glover is 50, and Abby Armstrong is 30. Meanwhile, Noelani Day of Team Tonga and Durant Webster of Mexico were the youngest swimmers at the age of 13.

All the soloists were awarded Savai'i citizenship for their solo efforts.

"The most enduring part of this swim is the incredible swim by young Sitivi," reported Seti Afoa of Samoa Events. "His time of 5 hours 37 minutes is a fast one, considerably so. His late coming into the race and qualifying for Apolima Strait on March 18th with only three weeks to race day.

The issue with Sitivi’s Apolima ambitions was, if any, had to do with long distance swimming. Up until his qualifier Sitivi’s longest swim was 4 km in the Samoa Swim Series in August 2015. Sitivi had been competing in Samoa Swim Series races since 2012 as an 11-year-old and regularly podiumed against overseas swimmers.

Going to 10 km for the qualifier might still be relative to his pool sessions with Tanifa o le Vai national squad but 22.3 km in the open sea? That was the unknown factor

Afoa was in a kayak beside Sitivi on race day and helped him prepare for the longest swim of his life. "After his qualifier, I got him to do more slow 10 km swims and 3 x 5 km workouts up until April 7th. Then Sitivi did 3 x 10km swims and 3 x 7 km swims, then he rested."

But Afoa remained worried about his young protege. "Sitivi had not done the long lead-in preparations that the other swimmers did. Swimmers for this race prepared well in advance of four months. Getting their shoulders and bodies used to handling that distance is a matter of calculated evolution of movement.

We cannot expect the body to perform at a level it is not used to. Sitivi’s shoulders, no matter how fast he is, have not turned over at speed beyond two hours of swim training at best. That was the unknown factor. To then continue at 14 minutes per km in the open sea for five hours is the most incredible part

Afoa acknowledged that Samoa has a special talent in the young swimmer. "He is the best open water swimmer we have. His pool ambitions may have to give way to his true talent. National coach Suzie Schuster is no doubt mulling over Sitivi’s Apolima result and how best to re-direct her swimmer."

The 2018 Apolima Strait Swim will be held on April 7th.

Solo Results
1. Sitivi So'oa'emalelagi (16 from Samoa) 5:37:27
2. Paul Feltoe (43 from New Zealand) 6:48:10
3. Christina Harris (53 from New Zealand) 6:53:11
4. Tony McLean (47 from New Zealand) 7:18:38
5. Robin Rasmussen Rose (56 from USA) 8:31:55
6. Tiffany McQueen (44 from USA) 9:35:00

Team Results
1. Team Tonga (Peni Finau, Andrew Emberson, Noelani Day, Finau Ohuafi) 6:35:00
2. Team Jo Armstrong (Jo Armstrong, Gerry Glover, Abby Armstrong) 7:39:01
3. Team Paid for by Mexico (Alex Montoro, Eric Howard, Stuart Brown, Durant Webster) 7:45:00

Photo above show Apolima Strait solo swimmers, Paul Feltoe , Tiffany McQueen, Christina Harris, Sitivi So'oa'emalelagi, Robin Rasmussen Rose, and Tony McLean.

Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program