Photo of Seti Afoa courtesy of the Samoa Observer.

For three millennia, the people of Samoa have been taking to their surrounding waters.

And now in contemporary times, Seti Afoa is taking that cultural heritage and expanding it in a contemporary, competitive environment. Afoa has a grand vision to make Samoa a South Pacific nation that brings local and foreign swimmers together in a number of events in Samoa, all supported by the local police, the Red Cross, the national health service, government and tourism officials, as well as the people of the local villages.

As the visionary and organizer behind Samoa Events, Afoa is the race director for the Samoa Swim Series, the Five Islands Challenge, the Upolu-Savaii Swim, the Savai’i Excursion, and the Pacific Open Water Challenge, a total of 18 races, not including triathlons that he also organizes and hosts.

The Samoa Swim Series comprises of the Samoa Swim Series Swim 1 (point-to-point 2 km and 4 km swims at Faga lagoon, Savai’i), the Family Swim dash, Team Relay for Kids & Family (400m swim and 400×400 and 600×600 Teams Relays), Samoa Swim Series Swim 2 (point-to-point 2.5 km and 4 km swims from Fagamalo to Tanu Beach Fales at Manase), Samoa Swim Series Swim 3 (point-to-point 2 km and 4 km swims from Mulivai Beach to the Sinalei beach.

Afoa also organizes the Upolu-Savai’i Swim, a 22.3 km inter-island marathon swim across the Apolima Strait between Samoa’s main islands of Upolu and Savai]i and the Five Islands Challenge that includes 5 ocean swims totaling 24 km in distance over 4 days (7.4 km Manono Island Swim, 5 km Fanuatapu – Namu’a Islands Swim, 5 km Namu’a Island to Lalomanu Swim, 5.3 km Nu’usafe’e Island Swim, 3.5 km Matautu Island Swim).

Afoa also offers the 2-race Pacific Open Water Challenge with a 5 km ocean swim from Sauano village to Falefa Village and a 10 km marathon swim in Saoluafata Harbour.

Finally, his Savai’i Excursion is a 4-day swim holiday that includes sightseeing, relaxation, tours and easy swims.

For bringing all these open water swimming opportunities to his part of the world, Afoa was well-deservedly nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year among his fellow nominees:

1. Roger Finch (South Africa)
2. Seti Afoa (Samoa)
3. Tomi Stefanovski (Macedonia)
4. Edoardo Stochino (Italy)
5. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands)
6. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia)
7. Ger Kennedy (Ireland)
8. Alex Kostich (USA)
9. Masayuki Moriya (Japan)
10. Colin Hill (Great Britain)
11. Ingemar Patiño Macarine (Philippines)
12. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain)
13. Christof Wandratsch (Germany)

To vote for the WOWSA Awards, visit here. Online voting continues until December 31st 2016.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association