PPR starts 2000 ocean swim
By Obi Otto

Approximately 40 people turned up on Saturday, June 10, 2000 for the first of what hopes to be an annual program:   the PPR Ocean Swim.  The swim consisted of three voluntary legs; that is swimmers chose the distance that would suit them and pursued it.  The distances,   500, 1000, 1500 meters wound around three yellow buoys set in triangle in front of the resort beach.  The planning committee had originally planned for swimmers between 40 and 50 in numbers, however they hope that in the next year, the swim will draw a bigger crowd to promote swimming in the Republic.
   Palau Christiansen, 41, was a swimmer and he said that he had only swum twice in his life:  the triathlon late last year and this swim.  "Before I left the beach, I wasn't sure if I could swim the whole way, but when I came back, I felt really good because I swam without stopping."
   Jeanne McLauglin's,  29, role in the swim was to assist in organizing and to try to get people interested in joining the master swim class at Meyuns Swimming Pool, taught by Miki Irisawa who works on endurance and technique mainly.  "This class is on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30.  On the swim she said, "I'm going to try for the 1500, but   
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I've never swum this distance before so it  will be a good experience for next year ... so I can set a realistic time barrier that I can try to break."
   Miki Irisawa teaches up to 30 men and women in her Masters Class and also teaches 15 juniors on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  She has come to Palau with JICA from her home town of Shizooka, Japan and has spent 2 1/2 years in Palau.  She will return this year.  Irisawa is very happy there were so many volunteers at this swim and hopes people will now join her class.  She taught in Japan before she came and has participated in many races and etc. including the Japan Championships and the Junior High School Interstate Games.  She has been swimming for four years and is now probably the best swimmer in the country.
   The 2000 Ocean Swim turned up surprising winners.  In the 500m Open Men's portion,
Anlloyd Samuel won first place, Tino Faatuuala second place, and Ryuka Masataka took third place.  The Open Women's portion, Kyoko Hayashita won first place, Sachiko Ohashi second place and Judy Otto third place.  In the Junior Boys category, Phillip Kim won first place and Jeffrey Nixon second.  In the Junior girls, Jessica Sumor won first place, Divya Dewan second, and Evelyn Otto third.
In the  1000 meter for the Open Men's portion, Anlloyd Samuel won first with a time of 20:22, John Kennedy second with 23:35, and Nobuhito Hashimoto third with 25:26.  In the open women's portion, Michiko Homma came first with 23:35, Stephanie Struble second with 27:20, and Janine Narbutas third with 27:58.
   On the final portion of the swim, the 1500 m,
Anlloyd Samuel won for the men with a time of 30:03, Bill Ridpath second with 30:04, and Tino Faatuuala third with 31:32.  Miki Irisawa won for the women with a time of 30:04, Jeanne McLaughlin came second with 33:24, and Judy Otto came in third with 52:00.
   Following the swim, Ron Gonzales presented the certificates to the winners and thanked the PPR for their generous donation of fruits and water and use of their beach and then everyone headed to the food stand where watermelons, oranges, bananas, and apples were prepared.  The event came to a close at 1:30 that afternoon and the empty beach was a signal of success.