Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Samoa Events’ International Female Athlete of the Year award was given to the inaugural Apolima Strait winner 28-year-old Abby Armstrong of New Zealand.

Seti Afoa, the visionary behind Samoa Events saw increased competition and significant uptick in international competitors this year in all the ocean swims held in Samoa.

Over 50% of the international visitors were women who excelled in the warm tropical waters in the South Pacific.

The selection of the International Female Athlete was between five athletes: swimmers Abby Armstrong and 60-year-old Bronwen Burmester in the Apolima Strait Swim and 28-year-old Elizabeth Schlicher in the Five Islands Challenge, triathlete Alison Heather in the Warrior Half Ironman, and cyclist Rebecca Marley in the Ford Tour of Samoa.

Armstrong won the 22.3 km swim between Upolu and Savai’i. 60-year-old Burmester also swam from Upolu to Savai’i in 8 hours 5 minutes which was the third fastest time in the inaugural race. The third finalist for the award was 28-year-old Californian Schlicher who tackled the Five Islands Swims.

Armstrong’s record-breaking swim in the inaugural 22.3 km marathon swim was the reason for being honored.

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