Upolu Savai’i swim Your Guide to the Big Swim

By the time most of us get out of bed to face the day on Thursday, our brave swimmers, will already have started their journey across to Salelologa. 

Here is your inaugural line up for the race across to Savai’i. The Upolu-Savaii swim is the longest Open Water race in the Southern Hemisphere. The race is the opening event of the inaugural Savai’i Games, 2016. 

The five individual swimmers have all done an amazing amount of work to train for the biggest race of their lives. They have expended a lot of dollars in this dream of theirs, to swim from Mulifanua to Salelologa. The distance is 22.3KM, the longest race to be held here. Here are some race facts. 

Swimmer Profiles 

Bronwen Burmster, 60yrs

Mother / Business Woman

Whangamata, New Zealand 

When she was 10yrs old, she told her father that she wanted to swim the English Channel someday. She has not gotten around to getting over to England to do that swim. This is her English Channel, the fulfilment of a 50yr dream.

Swim Captain, Moss Burmester (Olympic Swimmer, Commonwealth Record holder, Free diver)

Kayak, Cole Burmester

Start time, 6am

Expected finish, 3pm


Kate Sinclair, 37yrs

Intensive Care Nurse at John Flynn Private Hospital  

Gold Coast, Queensland 

Kate is on her way to swimming the English Channel. The Upolu-Savaii Swim is part of her preparations to fulfil that dream. 

Swim Captain, Dr Katrina Sinclair (mother)

Kayak, Tino Fonesitino (Outdoor Samoa) 

Start time, 6am

Expected Finish, 3pm


Todd Pritchard, 49yrs

Celebrates 50 years on Saturday 

9th April

GP at City Med in Central 


Todd is swimming for Melanoma 

New Zealand and to celebrate his 

50th birthday on Saturday 

9th April. 

Swim Captain, Rosie Sharman 

Kayak, Daryl Baker 

Start time, 6am

Expected finish, 3pm


Abby Armstrong, 28yrs

Student, Health and Sport Science 

Hamilton, New Zealand 

Abby found her way back to discover much more to add to her amazing life with partner Sam and as a young Kiwi woman living the dream

Swim Captain, Pete Armstrong 


Kayak, Jo Armstrong (mum) and 

Pat Gallagher (training partner)

Start time, 9am

Expected finish, 3-4pm


Phillip Ryan, 25yrs 

Swim Coach at Waterhole in West 


West Auckland, New Zealand

Phillip is building up to the qualifier for the Rio Olympics in June for the Rio Olympics in the 10km swim. This is his opportunity to put in some long racing across to Savai’i. Phillip has swum the Samoa Swim Series twice before, and raced here NZ in the Oceania Champs in 2010. 

Swim Captain, Judith Wright (also coach)

Kayak, Lauaki Afifimailagi

Start time, 10am

Expected finish, 4pm


Team Samoa 

Kim Taunga, Steve Nimarota and 

Shane Taivai Paulo 

The team is headed by Kim who is a regular at Samoa Swim Series and other Samoa Events activities

Swim captain, Greg Johnson

Kayak, Apisaloma Nimarota 

Start time, 6am

Expected finish, 4pm


Team Savai’i

Mailata Iosia Leau, Daniel Afoa, 

Sam Nimarota 

Team team is headed by Iosia Leau who was the last person to swim to Savaii in 1988. That swim was Salelologa to Tafua peninsula

Swim Captain TBC

Kayak, Kolani Sekai 

Expected finish, 4pm


Starting Venue, Aqua Samoa / Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort 

Finishing spot, Salelologa Wharf 

Race Director, Seti Afoa 

Organisation, Samoa Events 

Safety & Technical Director, Mike Cochrane 


Forecast, for fine weather, light winds, perfect for the swim. 

Thank you to the following businesses for their kind Support in this Event

Ford Samoa, Samoa Shipping Corporation, Savaii Samoa Tourism Association, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Magik FM, Samoa Observer, Samoa Helicopters, Samoa Red Cross, Aiga Manaia Clinic (Lalomalava), Outdoor Samoa. Follow the Race with live updates on the UPOLU-SAVAII SWIM and SAVAII GAMES Facebook Pages. Live link.

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