Mana’s golden jubilee

Participants of the successful 2022 Mana Ocean Swim Fest at Mana Island Resort. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mana Island Resort and Spa is buzzing as it commenced activities to mark its 50th anniversary this year with a number of activities — and the resort has already been a hive of activity.

Earlier this month, the Mamanuca-based resort hosted its first ever swimming competition since the global pandemic shut down the entire tourism industry in 2020.

The swimmers from Fiji, Australia and New Zealand came together for three days to participate in the annual Mana Swim Fest.

Resort general manager and chief operations officer Hiroshi Matsumoto said they were grateful to the competitors who returned after a lapse of several years.

“We are grateful to the swimmers and who despite the situation surrounding the pandemic and travel restriction, they did not hesitate to participate in the competition,” he said.

“They were willing to travel to Fiji for the 2022 Mana Ocean Swim Event and take part in the race over two days.

“It was a success and we were very fortunate to have beautiful weather conditions for both the days.” Mr Matsumoto said he was extremely happy with how the event went.

“I want to give a massive thank you to the local swimmers who also took part in the event and we also want to thank our sponsors for the event, for without them we would not have achieved a successful event.

“A big vinaka vakalevu to Westpac Banking Corporations, Fiji Gas, Coca-Cola Amatil, Fiji Water, Motibhai Group, Punjas, Jacks.

“The event was in collaboration with Fiji Swimming Association, Aquatrek and Aquazur, South Sea Cruises and organised by Ocean swim Safaris from Australia and Mana Island Resort and Spa — Fiji.”

Among the winners were Fiji’s very own Taichi Vakasama (five kilometres male), and Salanieta Kunatuba.

“We plan to have our next year’s event on October 19 and 20 in 2023 and we are expecting more participants to join our Mana Swim Fest Event,” said Mr Matsumoto.

He said after the successful Swim Fest event, the resort was now looking forward to their 50th anniversary celebrations.

“We have a lot planned out for the event and we also can’t wait to welcome back our returnees.

“We will be holding Returnee Week during the celebrations and this is when we will celebrate and acknowledge our returning tourists who always been our biggest supporters.”

Like many other resorts in the Mamanuca Group, Mana Island Resort was among island getaways that had to be closed off to the rest of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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