Neil Agius Leads Ocean Festival Swim Around Gozo in Stunning Malta

Neil Agius Leads Ocean Festival Swim Around Gozo in Stunning Malta

Neil Agius, who holds the world record for the longest unassisted ocean swim, launched the inaugural Ocean Festival in Malta on July 1, 2024. This event involves a swim around Gozo, an island in the Maltese archipelago, in the Mediterranean Sea. The goal is to promote open water swimming in the beautiful Maltese waters.

On Monday, participants took on the 37-kilometer swim, starting from Ħondoq ir-Rummien at 4 a.m. The event featured two categories: a solo swim and a team swim. Eleven solo swimmers faced the challenge of completing the entire distance within a 15-hour limit. In the team category, groups of three, four, and five swimmers worked together in a relay.

Swimmers trained for six months leading up to the event. The training included swim sessions, diet and nutrition guidance, mindset training, and professional insights from Agius. The first swimmers reached the finish line by the afternoon. The conditions were challenging. They included temperature drops and strong currents. But, the swimmers showed remarkable endurance and resilience. Agius and the support crew offered continuous updates and encouragement throughout the swim.

Agius said on Facebook:

“A few super inspired participants, both the solo swimmers and the teams, showed up and went beyond what they thought they were capable of to achieve something unforgettable. The Ocean Festival team, my power team, really supported their journey with a lot of grace, always there to ensure their safety. They have been with us the whole way around.

I’m excited for what’s coming up as well. Next week, we have the decompression event where participants can share their experiences and continue to emphasize what we’re trying to build.

On Sunday, we have the icebreakers event. It’s a workshop focused on learning how to step out of the comfort zone in a more controlled environment, dealing with anxiety and stress, and working in a peak performance state for extended periods.

There’s a really cool announcement coming up in a few weeks, so I’m really excited for what’s to come. Once again, well done to all the participants. Thank you, you inspired me, and you inspired everyone. Put your hat on, and hopefully, this is the first of many.”

The Swimmers

At Ocean Festival, the focus is on the challenge and personal achievement, rather than competition.

Solo swimmers

  • Steve de Domenico
  • Christopher Demicoli
  • Mathieu Salomun
  • Anjelika Ruggier
  • Jonathan Shaw
  • Simon Zammit
  • Anthony Borg
  • Paul Felice
  • Joe Galea
  • Kamilla Boross
  • Matthew Baluci

Team of 3

  • Thomas Woods
  • Keith Bartolo
  • Robert Tabone

Team of 4

  • Alexis Inguanez
  • Oscar Zerafa
  • Nathalie Anastasi
  • Ioannis Koumarelas

Team of 4

  • Conrad Chircop
  • Faye Sciberras
  • Karl Camilleri
  • Kristjan Briffa

Team of 5

  • Marlon Zammit
  • Mark Sponneck
  • Jonathan Sammut
  • Tristan Micallef
  • Roanna Farrugia

Team of 5

  • Aaron Muscat
  • Mario Muscat
  • Greg Degabriele
  • Bernard Farrugia
  • David Sammut

Photo credits: Neil Agius on Instagram