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Finathon Reaches Fever Pitch Swimming 600km for Sharks

Community Actions

Finathon fever swept the world with scuba divers clocking up some serious kilometers swimming to end finning. The crew at Crystal Divers Bali flipped the Finathon concept inside out. It was all about having fun for owner and PADI Course Director, Minni Vangsgaard who hosted the world’s firstFUNathon!

This unique twist on the Finathon raised a FINtastic $6,000 placing Crystal Divers at the top of the team leaderboard and taking the global fundraising total to over $50,000. Pretty impressive for an event where the games were just a dollar to enter.

A Flash Mob Dance started the fun followed by games, raffles, auctions, face painting and a big BBQ after party.  Minni was knocked off the beam and plunged into the pool during a gladiatorial combat challenge as party goers cheered on. A favourite game was ‘Save a Shark’ and dive instructors took part in blindfolded swim challenges. Did we mention the shark jelly shots?

Crystal Divers Bali shows a Finathon fundraiser really can be anything you want it to be. And they added 800 metres to the global swim distance of nearly 600km.

Every lap counts!

Ocean Encounters, Curacao enjoyed an amazing day with an impressive 53 swimmers swimming 136.3km. Congratulations to fastest swimmer Caetano Kluyver who swam 725m in 10.25.

Western Australia saw 32 swimmers take to the water at South Beach, Fremantle and swim 89km. Organiser Tania Douthwaite said: “It was a gloomy stretch of challenging coast for our brave swimmers who entered the water through 1m thick seaweed. We were very proud to be part of such a well organised global campaign.”

Another record was broken by Master Divers, Thailand. This FINtastic trio swam 22.5km around Koh Tao in 7 hours 56 minutes. In the Philippines Rick Kirkham’s 7.8km challenge to swim the Verde Island Passage received huge international support. Rick completed the swim from Puerto Galera to Verde Island in a record time of 3 hours. Along with fundraising for Project AWARE Rick is campaigning the local Mayor to protect all shark species in Puerto Galera.

Swimmers from Malapascua Exotic Island Dive Resort raced 500m from the House Reef to the beach. With 15 of the swimmers Filipinos everyone enjoyed local dish Pancit Canton afterwards to celebrate. Tommy Jenson who sponsored the Exotic Island team said “I had the most wonderful majestic experience diving with the thresher sharks of Malapascua. I’ll gladly make a donation to help protect this beautiful species and all shark species.”

Countless thanks to everyone who made a donation in support of our swimmers around the world. Dive centres have pledged to host Finathon’s throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for shark protection.  If you’re thinking of holding a Finathon visit

Read the Interview with Ania Budziak, Associate Director of Science and Policy to find out more about your donations in action.


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