Benjamin “Benji” Sanson, known in triathlon circles as “Da Fish,” is set to return to Antigua & Barbuda in March for the country’s first ever marathon swim event co-sponsored by American University of Antigua.

The French professional triathlete ran home the victor of the Tinman Rohr Triathlon in January 2012 – the country’s first ever half-iron distance triathlon. This time, Sanson will compete in the nation’s first ever Tinman Marathon Swim – a 10-kilometer distance swim – the official Olympic open water swim distance. The event is organized by the Wadadli Triathlon Club and is slated for Saturday, March 9 at Turners Beach.

Sanson, who coaches a number of top triathletes and swimmers, will also host a weeklong swimming camp for the country’s young swimmers leading up to the event. The former world champion swimmer is one of the fastest triathlon swimmers and is aiming to compete in the marathon swim at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“Last time Benji was here he spent a lot of time working with the swimmers and he was really impressed,” said Event Organizer Andre Simon. “He’s racing in Guadeloupe the week before so we’re bringing him over from there and we’re talking with the swimming federation to organize the swim camp.”

Wayne “Ironman” Henry came up with the idea for the 10km swim and he will be aiming to become the first Antiguan to complete a marathon swim. The grueling Tinman Marathon Swim will be held side-by-side with the Tinman Aquathlon, a 2km swim and 10km run, that can be raced by individuals or teams.

“The Tinman Aquathlon is a really exciting format and it’s the one we’re gearing up for popular participation,” said Wadadli Triathlon Club President Cleofoster Harris. “A couple of the older guys are really keen on the marathon swim but there is no hiding it. It is a tough event so we expect most the kids will opt for the aquathlon. There are some really exciting plans in place for the event and we will have a lot more to announce pretty soon.”

The event is sponsored by AUA and 365 Antigua and supported by Antigua & Barbuda Triathlon Association and Antigua & Barbuda Olympic Association.