19-year-old Australian Trent Grimsey, who swam a 15:12.36 1500-meter freestyle at the 2008 Australian Olympic Swimming Trials, has found his niche in the Pacific, as he dominated the 39th annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim. Earlier this year, Grimsey also won the 2008 Oceania 10K Open Water Championships earlier this year in New Zealand.
Grimsey led a 1-2-3 Australian sweep in the men's race, winning the swim across Waikiki in 47 minutes 59 seconds. Grimsey took off from the start and won going away. "I kept looking around, thinking I went off course."
"Trent could be [Australia's] next Grant Hackett," said distant second-place Josh Minogue finisher. "He's really good. This is not surprising to us to see him that far ahead."
Brendan Capell placed third with a time of 52:27. John Flanagan of Honolulu was fourth in 53:45, Alex Kostich of California was fifth in 52:54, and defending champion Noa Sakamoto of Honolulu was sixth in 53:12.
Similarly, Luane Rowe from Sydney convincingly won the women's division, finishing eighth overall and more than eight minutes ahead of the second-place woman. "It's hard not to get distracted. The water is so clear, and you can see all the fish."
"The Australians were very, very impressive," Flanagan said. "Two of the guys just took off in the beginning, and I knew there was no way to catch them."
The other 740 swimmers from around the world who finished the race also thought so.
Photo of Waikiki Roughwater Swim wave starts from Swim Without Borders.