My Story ...
The fear of the deep drew me to Open Water Swimming. I took it up rather late in life aged 49 years of age. And I took to it like a duck to water. I remember my first foray into the harbour with members of our swim squad. It was a Sunday afternoon swim, a regular activity for the group in St Heliers on the weekend. I was petrified at the first marker and had to be assisted back closer to shore where I swam in the safety of the sand while the rest of the group went out further. That was in 2009. A lot has happened since.
I gained confidence very quickly, to the point where safety in numbers out in the Open was not required any more. I began to swim a lot on my own, further and further each time. Regular training at Jellicoe Pool in Onehunga close to where I lived, plus participation in the Open Water swim circuits around the city made me a proficient swimmer very quickly. I was not fast, but I could last a long time in the water where I was the happiest.
That is unusual for Samoans. Most of us do not swim, or know how to swim despite our origins in a Pacific Island where there is more water than land. That connection to a Pacific Island and my new found freedom in the water was the start of what has become Samoa Events.
In 2011 after a morning training with the squad at coffee time afterwards, one of the crew suggested we go for a swim tour to Samoa. It wasn't my idea. But being the only Samoan in the squad, and the pool for that matter, I became the organiser of the trip in 2012. There were 22 of us, and we spent eight days in Samoa on a swimming holiday. That was a great tour. The next year, the Samoa Swim Series was born.
The concept was simple - 3 Great swims in 3 Days in three fantastic locations. The first Series in 2012 was amazing. Things grew from there. The next year in 2013, the Pacific Open Water Challenge 10km and 5km swims were added. Also, the Warrior Race Half Ironman was added. The next year in 2014 the Tour of Samoa was also added to the programme. The annual and international events is complimented by a great local programme of swimming, biking and running.
I am grateful to the many people that come from all over the world to participate in our Events. The key for us is people, delivering great personal experiences in our events is what works for Samoa Events, our participants and our partners.
Family-wise, Michelle and I have five adult children. The family live on the Hibiscus Coast in Auckland.
See you soon in Samoa,
2013, Samoa Observer Person of the Year
2014, Samoa Observer Person of the Year - Finalist
2015, Samoa Observer Person of the Year - Finalist
2016, World Open Water Association Awards (WOWSA) - Finalist
2016, Administrator - Samoa Leadership Sports Awards - Finalist
2023, World Open Water Association Awards (WOWSA) - Judging Panel
Founder, Established the Sport of Triathlon in Samoa as a member of World Triathlon.
Founder, Established the Sport of Cycling in Samoa as a member of UCI.
Co-Founder, NZ Ultra Marathon Swim Awards
President, Samoa Triathlon Federation, 2014-2023
President, Samoa Cycling, 2019 to present.
The longest swim I have done. No one was doing these distances in 2012 the year of this swim, now 10km+ swims are a regular occurrence.