aQuellé Midmar Mile: The World's Largest Open Water Swimming Event Celebrates 50 Years

aQuellé Midmar Mile: The World’s Largest Open Water Swimming Event Celebrates 50 Years

The 50th edition of the aQuellé Midmar Mile, one of the world’s largest open-water races with nearly 800 participants took place from February 9th to 12th.

The aQuellé Midmar Mile is an annual open water swimming event that takes place in South Africa. It is considered one of the largest open water swimming events in the world and has been held since 1974.

The event is held in the Midmar Dam, which is located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The race covers a distance of one mile (1.6 kilometers) and is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities, from beginners to Olympic athletes.

The event takes place over two days, with multiple races held each day to accommodate the large number of participants. In addition to the main one-mile race, there are also longer races for more experienced swimmers, as well as races for children.

Men and Woman’s Elite

Sharon van Rouwendaal, the World 10km champion, dominated the women’s race at the aQuellé Midmar Mile, while Connor Buck claimed a second straight men’s title. Van Rouwendaal took the win in 18 minutes 40 seconds, followed by four-time champion Ashley Twichell of the USA in 18:44, and Stephanie Houtman in 19:29.

Meanwhile, defending champion Connor Buck won the men’s race in a speedy 17:39. Henré Louw finished second in 18:34, while 17-year-old Brendan Visser finished third in 18:50.

Women’s elite top 10 for the 50th aQuellé Midmar Mile

All the aQuellé Midmar Mile results are available on

Main event results:

Women’s elite:

  1. Sharon van Rouwendaal 18:40
  2. Ashley Twichell 18:44
  3. Stephanie Houtman 19:29
  4. Tory Earle 19:42
  5. Samantha Randle 19:52
  6. Carli Antonopoulos 19:58
  7. Sash Corris 19:59
  8. Callan Lotter 19:59
  9. Amica de Jager 20:00
  10. Michelle Weber 20:03
 Men’s elite top 10 for the 50th edition. A race dominated by Connor Buck, and then second Henré Louw, the rest of the top 10 became a sprint finish

Men’s elite:

  1. Connor Buck 17:39
  2. Henré Louw 18:34
  3. Brendan Visser 18:50
  4. Ross Hartigan 18:50
  5. Chad La Tourette 18:52
  6. Joshua Ashley 18:55
  7. Matthew Caldwell 18:55
  8. Jeandre Kleynhans18:56
  9. Damien Angel 19:09
  10. Reece Zowitsky 19:11

Two Americans representing the Olympic Club of San Francisco made the trek from California to Midmar Dam.

As a result of winning the male and female division of the Walmart OZ Mile Swim in September, a sister swim of the Midmar Mile, the pair were invited to South Africa to compete.

Chad La Tourette took home fifth place overall and first in the 31-40 division. Breed was 13th overall and 11th in the 14-30 division.

After the swim La Tourette said “the mile is the perfect distance at the elite level to allow the pace to stay at near sprint speed while forcing quick decisions within the pack. People are constantly testing, overtaking, and falling back to optimize their position going into the final 400m. If someone has the means, I think that getting to experience a race on this scale is unlike anything you can currently participate in the US. The ideal way to do it would be to race before or after trekking across different parts of South Africa”

The aQuellé Midmar Mile has a strong focus on charitable causes, and participants are encouraged to raise funds for various charities and non-profit organizations. Over the years, the event has raised millions of dollars for a variety of causes, including the education and care of underprivileged children, the conservation of natural habitats, and the provision of clean drinking water to communities in need.