Reece Southall recently won the Epic 17.5 km marathon swim in Lake Taupo in 4 hours 12 minutes. It was a long stretch for the multi-talented and versatile teenager from Down Under.
The 16-year-old Queensland native does everything from marathon swims to representing Queensland in the Australian Pool Rescue Championships on the Gold Coast. He will compete in the 200m super lifesaver event this January.
His recent 2-day tour where he did 2 races in 2 countries after traveling 2,500 km via airplane at the 2.8 km cold water King of the Bays in Auckland, New Zealand and the 2.5 km warm water Cooly Classic on the Gold Coast, Australia speaks to his enthusiasm to compete anywhere in any discipline.
He recently won his third consecutive Samoa Swim Series where he competed in three 4 km ocean swims on consecutive days.
Race director Seti Afoa describes Southall, "I first met Reece in January 2014 when I was promoting the Samoa Swim Series in Wellington New Zealand. Reece had already entered the 5 km and 10 km Pacific Open Water Challenge and the Samoa Swim Series.
I remember thinking how would a slightly built, lanky 14-year-old do in the competitive field that was gathering: 'Would he finish the swims? Will he handle the tough Samoa ocean swims, five in total in five days, 27 km of competitive ocean swimming?'
Seven months later, my questions were answered and concerns set aside.
“Reece blitzed the Pacific Open Water Challenge swims to win them outright and by quite a margin. No one was even close. Then the official Samoa Swim Series: three great 4 km swims in three days with the much bigger field and more swimmers at three fantastic locations around Samoa. Reece did even better by winning all three swims. What a champion.