The Daily News Of Open Water Swimming

To educate, entertain, and enthuse those who venture beyond the shore


Random News

Bringing For Waikiki Roughwater Swim History

Courtesy of Michael Rök, Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

The updated history of Waikiki Roughwater Swim is here.

Website developer Michael Rök explains, “The website has a more modern and responsive layout now, which makes it better usable on mobile devices, adjusting automatically to small and wide screens. The navigation is much easier. We offer two new features:

* The DIY Completion Certification service where swimmers can easily download their free historical swim certificate, showing all the finish documentation including year, official time and official place that can be printed on paper or a T-shirt. See here.

* Fun Facts on the history of the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim here.”

Jim Cotton, the first president of the Waikiki Swim Club, presents a fascinating history on the website. He lays out the life of Alexander Hume Ford, the namesake of the Alexander Hume Ford Trophy that is given to the overall winner of the Waikiki Roughwater Swim.

Ford was the founder of the Outrigger Canoe Club as well as a playwright and publicist who came to Honolulu early in the new 20th century. He was born in South Carolina…after the Civil War, his family’s prosperity were declining and moved to New York. He wrote for leading magazines such as Harpers, Engineering, Century, Woman’s Home Companion, Colliers and the British Pall Mall. This led to his playwriting and venturing abroad where he went to the Middle East, Russia, Siberia and ultimately to Hawaii.

By 1907, he learned surfing from George Freeth and wrote about Waikiki for the outside world and lobbied for Hawaii to become a Territory of the United States.

His activities eventually led to the creation of the Outrigger Canoe and Surfboard Club as it was originally named in 1908 with 101 members. By 1915, the Club had 1,200 members with another 200 people on the waiting list. Duke Kahanamoku became a member in 1918.

In 1971, the Outrigger Canoe Club contributed substantial start-up funds to the Waikiki Roughwater Swim for silver trophies and canoes for life saving and race control.

For more information, visit

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top