Ten international swimmers and one local team from Saoluafata are set to take on the Apolima Strait Swim Race today.
They are Professor Meenakshi Pahuja from India, Patty Hermann from Houston Texas in the United States, Jean-luc Boualanger from France, Alice Sagar, Su Scott, Jacques de Reuck, Andrew Cave and Dave Eager from New Zealand, Scott Rowlands from Australia and 14-year-old Noelani Day from Tonga.
The 22.3km race will begin from the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort, Mulifanua, across to the finish line at Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets in Salelologa, Savai’i.
The participants are all keen for the challenge ahead, with each of the swimmers having had incredible journeys leading to the event.
Samoa Events Race Director, Afoa Seti Afoa, said the main objective of this event is not only to help revive the Samoan culture, but also promote Samoa as a tourist destination.
He says this year’s race will be a lot tougher because of the weather forecast.
“Our history says we are people from the Ocean, we are sailors, navigators, and people who are not afraid to go beyond the reefs, so this race will help us revive that part of our culture as well as bringing tourists to our country.
“Samoa Events is the Samoa tourism ambassador, we do things to bring people here to Samoa and that’s what we do.
“The wind conditions tomorrow will definitely play a huge role for us tomorrow (today) with 15-18 knots, in fact it will not be the smoothest compared in the past years.”
Noelani, the youngest competitor who also participated last year, said she is used to being the youngest competitor because she is also the youngest team member back home as well.
She looks forward to promoting girls in this sport.
Noelani mentioned she looks to put on a good competition and do her nation proud.