14 May 2018
Hailing from Richmond near Nelson, ocean swimming fanatic Maggy Johnston is gearing up for Ocean Swim Fiji 2018 – with chief supporter husband Robbie coming too. A regular at the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series for the last seven years, she competes in at least four events every year. Because of Maggy’s experiences with Scott Rice and his team in New Zealand, she knows she can expect the same level of safety and organisation in Fiji.
Maggy began ocean swimming about a decade ago. Formerly a middle-distance runner, Maggy was diagnosed with a rare hereditary arterial issue, which hindered her ability to run. Even after surgery, she still suffered from leg cramps and had to look for alternatives to stay fit. Eventually, Maggy took part in an ocean swimming series in Nelson and found that her circulation improved while wearing a wetsuit. Almost immediately, Maggy found a new sense of belonging in the water and was able to be active again.
Although a bit slow at first, Maggy fell in love with being in the ocean – she describes it as her “soul food.” Her medical issue makes it critical that Maggy swims with the best water safety supervision, which is why she swims with Scott’s team, who she knows will swiftly pick her up and bring her to safety should she need it.
Always eager to challenge herself, Maggy trains in the ocean every other day, all year round, even in the middle of winter. She has found a great community through ocean swimming, especially through the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series and hopes to see many of her friends from the Series in Fiji.
Ocean Swim Fiji is not only an opportunity for Maggy to swim with friends in beautiful tropical waters, but it is also holds a special place in her memories. During her childhood, Maggy lived in Fiji for six years and attended Suva Grammar then the University of the South Pacific. While living in Fiji, Maggy would swim with friends at Natadola Beach, the site of Swim 2, and on Denarau Island before the Sofitel Fiji was built and it was just mangrove swamps.
Maggy has since returned to Fiji numerous times, but she is particularly excited to return for a trip dedicated to her ocean swimming passion, with friends new and old and a team she trusts from the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series. She’ll be swimming the 3km swims, while her husband Robbie comes along as support. Enter Ocean Swim Fiji to swim alongside Maggy and pick up some ocean swimming and local Fiji tips!