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World’s top open water swimmers to race Hawaii's 42nd annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim

Posted Aug 31 2011 10:11am


For the 42nd consecutive year dating back to 1970, some of the world’s top swimmers will unite in Honolulu, Hawaii to partake in the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, one of the world’s oldest and most iconic open water competitions. The 2.384-mile (3.84 km) race takes place on Labor Day, September 5, 2011, beginning at 9:00 am (HST) at Sans Souci Beach between the Natatorium and New Otani Hotel.

It will finish at approximately 12 noon on Duke Kahanamoku Beach at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel. The race is held in conjunction with the seventh annual “Swim with Mike,” a scholarship fund providing financial means for advanced education to physically challenged athletes. Past scholarship recipients include 2010 Hawaii Pacific University graduate Joe Broc, Keith Kitamura of Kapaa High School and the University of Hawaii, Ann Yoshida of Mililani HS and Utah State University, as well as current student Tusi Mailo of Kahuku HS and BYU-Hawaii.

012 As in past years, the winner of the 2011 swim will have his or her name engraved on the “Alexander Hume Ford” perpetual trophy, while an elite division award will be presented to the top three male and female overall finishers. The top three from each gender in each age division will also be honored.

Notable entrees expected back for this year’s Waikiki Roughwater Swim include twenty-three year old world champion Chip Peterson of North Carolina. He finished second overall last year (45:46), six seconds behind champion Travis Nederpelt (45:40). Peterson owns a 10K open water world championship from Montreal in 2005, before adding recent 2010 individual titles in the Pan Pacific10K in Irvine, CA and the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, CA.

Internationally, New Zealand’s Kane Radford is an open water swimmer who finished 10th overall (47:43) and third in the male 19-24 division on Waikiki in 2010. He is a national champion in both his home country and Australia in the 800-meter and 1500-meter. Radford is also a 2009 champion in the RCP Tiburon Mile and a 2011 participant in the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. Projected top female participants include Luane Rowe of Sydney, Australia, as well as American Suzanne Heim-Bowen. Rowe has won the last three female titles on Waikiki, including last year’s 23rd overall placement (51:18). Her best overall finish was eighth in 2008 (55:01), while also cracking the top-10 in ’09 with her personal-best time (47:21).

She has claimed numerous races in Australia, including the 2K Division at the Cole Classic on Shelly Beach, as well as 1K and 2K ocean swim races on Bondi Beach. In 2007, meanwhile, Heim-Bowen became the first-ever open water swimmer to be inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. Amongst her many claims to fame is swimming the English Channel twice in one week.

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