Hawaii's Premier Ocean Swim Race


In the spring of 2015, over 200 entrants gathered in Waikiki to participate in the inaugural South Shore Classic, a swim race that featured a format never before seen in Hawaiian waters: Depending on age and gender, racers were given a 'head start' allowing for an exciting swim race that not only highlighted the classic battle of the sexes but matched youth against experience. The South Shore Classic's debut was an incredible one - in both camaraderie and competition - and today's event organizers are excited to build the event as a standout addition to Hawaii's open water racing scene. 



Hawaii Swim Hall of Famer, John Flanagan wanted to pay tribute to his swim competition days by getting on the other side of the coin: Organizing a swim race. Together with celebrated Hawaii runner, Todd Lacovelli, the two athletes focused on creating a format that would be fun and challenging -  something that they themselves would be enticed to try.

The South Shore Classic offers four events to choose from: A Keiki Race, Wahine Race, Kane Race and an Elite Division (male and female swimmers who meet a time requirement). Depending on your age and gender, you receive a time advantage. With this particular format, the playing field becomes leveled - the old stags go up against the young bucks, women go head-to-head with the men - and the first person to cross the finish line takes the overall crown. It truly becomes anyone's game!



The success of the inaugural South Shore Classic could not have happened without the support from the local community. The South Shore Classic believes in giving back. Partial proceeds every year from the event are donated to a local swim club to assist in travel expenses for Hawaii swimmers competing on the mainland.



The South Shore Classic hopes to perpetuate Hawaii's rich heritage in open water swimming. By encouraging swimmers of all ages and skills to experience what Hawaiian open water swims have to offer, the South Shore Classic has strong potential in drawing mainland and international competitors to the islands. In addition to the unique format, the race distances are accessible for those newly interested in the sport of open water swimming. The Keiki Race, for example, was developed as a purposefully short and contained course - providing a fun and safe introduction to open water swimming to Hawaii's next generation.



Noting Hawaii's grand tradition of open water swimming, the South Shore Classic endeavors to increase awareness of the sport here in the islands and beyond. With its unique race format and world-class venue of Waikiki, the South Shore Classic hopes to build into a signature ambassador event that draws ocean sport enthusiasts from all over the world right here to Hawaiian waters. 


Photo: Andrew Imamura | Cyndia Michelle