Flannagan Cup Going Strong Since 1916

Flannagan Cup Going Strong Since 1916

The 3.6K Flannagan Cup Open Water Swim in New Plymouth, New Zealand will take place on February 6th.

The Flannagan Cup Open Water Swim was first held in 1916 to raise money for a war veteran’s charity. The first hardy pioneers set out to swim 5.5K in the cold waters of the Tasman Sea – long before there were neoprene wetsuits.

The current race format has a handicapped start which, in theory, gives everyone a chance to win the race.

With such a handicapped start, weekend warriors still have the opportunity to win. With a switch to a multi-lap inner harbor swim and the inclusion of wetsuited swimmers has resulted in rising popularity.

The traditional race date of Waitangi Day, the day of New Zealand’s founding, usually makes for warm water and sunny conditions. Recently, New Zealand’s Olympic heroes like Danyon Loader and Shane Read and open water swimming star Charlotte Webby (see above) have joined in the fun.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones