Simon Ward, The High Performance Human Triathlon Podcast

The fastest ever swimmer in Kona - Jan Sibbersen

March 30, 2022

When I first went out to Kona to work it was like a dream come true. I got paid for working there and I watched the entire race live. It's like a car nut being paid to watch the British Grand Prix. As I watched the swimmers exit the water one man was way ahead of the rest and even more surprising it wasn’t one of the top pros. This was an age grouper by the name of Jan Sibbersen and from 2001 to 2004 he was the fastest man in the water at Kona. In 2018 after a layoff during which he started his wetsuit business, Sailfish, Jan made a return with the sole aim of claiming the swim record. He achieved his goal, setting a time of 46m 29s which still stands to this day. Jan is my guest today and we talk all things swimming including:

  • Growing up and swimming all week and skiing all weekend (sounds good now, never mind at 15)
  • Mixing it with the ‘big guns' in St Croix
  • First man out of the water in Kona . . as an age grouper
  • Getting called out by Jurgen Zack (then one of the world's best Ironman triathletes)
  • Managing Patrick Lange through two Ironman World Championship victories
  • The biggest mistakes age groupers make with their swimming
  • Coming back for the Kona record in 2018
  • Starting Sailfish wetsuits
  • Coming to America

To follow Jan and Sailfish Wetsuits please use the following links


Instagram: @sailfish_us

Youtube: sailfishtriathlon This has some great OW swim tips from Jan. They are worth watching to learn from the best.


Links to some of the other topics we chatted about:

Jan Sibbersen - Road to Kona - a short video on that 2018 swim record


Jan also recommended 4 great books which I don't think have been suggested before:

Dan Millman: The Way of the peaceful warrior

Phil Knight: Shoe Dog

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi: Flow

Tim Weiner: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

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