16KM  perhentian island Marathon Swim  - Duo and Team

A quick overview of the event - Detail information to be provided in 2023 racebook.


About the swim:  The challenge is to swim about 16KM in distance around one of Perhentian Islands called Pulau Besar. The Perhentian Islands are a small group of beautiful, coral-fringed islands off the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu.  2023 is the 5th edition of the event. It was started in 2017.


Type of Relay Team:   DUO- consisted of 2 swimmers.   TEAM - consisted of 4 swimmers.  One swimmer is required to be in water throughout the race.  Distribution of swim time for each swimmer if up to the team to decide or strategize.

Slot limit:   20 teams (Duo & Team)  first come first serve basis.


Swim Course : Marathon Swim around Perhentian Island Besar (Anti-clockwise)


Distance : Aprox.16km Starting and ending from Teluk Pauh Beach 


Estimated time to swim:  Between 3 hr 30 min - 7 hr 30 min (16Km) 

Flag off :    8:00am

Event Date: Saturday – 7th Oct 2023


Support requirement:  Every team has a boat to escort throughout the race.    A boat will be arranged by organizer ; inclusive of the fee. 


Race Course: The race will consist on swimming around island, no further than 200m from the shore.  The only location further than 200m is where the crossing at Flora Bay,  swimmers will swim  via  an imaginary straight across the bay. 


Navigating the swim course

A large marking buoy (minimum 2M height will be placed) at 14KM.  2 large Red Buoys will be placed 400m away (in front of Pauh Bay) from finishing line. Accompanied boat must not go beyond this point.   Each team member  will then  to swim together  until the finishing arch (on the Pauh bay beach) 


Swimmer Safety/cut off time:

In the best interests of the health and safety of swimmers, all swimmers who have been in the water longer than the set cut-off time at each point along the Swim Course are required to leave the water and will be recorded as “did not finish”. It is the responsibility of the support boat skipper to ensure the swimmer leaves the water. Failure to leave the water at this time will result in disqualification. Race Officials will monitor adherence to the cut-off times at each location. 


Location  Cut-off Time (after flag off)

12km      5 hr 30 min

16km      7 hr 30 min


Safety measure

The event is patrolled with governmental rescue teams such  APM, Bomba, Marine, and also life-saving academy team.  Medical team is also presence.


Event Cancellation:

The Race Director and safety Director will make the decision to cancel the event if, in the their’s opinion, weather conditions reach an unsafe state either before or during the event, or are likely to reach an unsafe state. This decision, if made, will be broadcast via walkie talkie or cellular phone and all Solos, Team Captains and Skippers will be notified. No swimmers are to disregard this decision. Per the Terms and Conditions of Entry, there will be no refunds if the event is cancelled.


Water temperature:It will be around 28-31 ° C


Prizes & entitlements:

Champion Trophies

Finisher Medal 

Finisher gift

Certificate for Finisher

Swimming cap

Event T-shirt

1 meal Dinner ,  lunch pack, high-tea meal (award ceremony) at Perhentian Island Resort.

Safety and medical support


Registration Fees 

Duo:  RM1590

Team:  RM1890


Registration procedure:   Only a team leader is required to apply for the race.



The Minimum age for participation is 14 year old.


Tentative Itinerary:


4:45pm    –  Swimmers/guests arrival at Kampung Jetty  

5:00pm    –  Meet skippers/Feeders @Kampung

7:00pm    – Racepack collection (16km only)  & Race Briefing @Perhentian Island Resort Hall

7:45pm   –  Dinner Buffet (16KM only  at Perhentian  Island  Resort (PIR) *


6:30am   – Site registration , RP collection,  body  Marking  at PIR

7:15am   – Meeting  between swimmers & boat crews @PIR Beach

7:30am   – Solo and  1st Relay Swimmers move to PIR Jetty .  Other relay swimmers board on their respective boats

7:45am   –  Last briefing/Warm up

8:00am   –  Flag off   [Relay swimmers to be flagged of 5 min after)

1:30pm   –  Cut-off time @Tanjung Basi

3:30pm   – cut-off time @finishing

5:00pm   – Hi Tea & Award Ceremony  at Perhentian Island Resort


Recommended Accommodations:  The Coral View,  The Barats,  The Reef,  Perhentian Island Resort (race venue),  The Mama's ,  all are walking distance to the starting/finishing venue.


2017 race report by Sofian; one of participants:   



 Any further question please email to us:  info@malaysiaopenwaterswimming.com 

To register ; select Duo or Team Icon/photo below (only approved teams)

Travel Recommendations:
Flight: Ensure your flight destination is to Kota Bharu Airport. A flight from KLIA/Subang Airport will reach Kota Bharu airport in about 45 minutes. Then another 45 minutes from the airport to Kuala Besut Jetty by land transport. A grab/taxi service is available.
If you wish to come by bus, you can take a bus that stop at Kuala Besut Jetty or Jerteh. If you are at Jerteh, you need more 10 to 15 minutes to reach the Kuala Besut Jetty.
Highly recommended to book an early flight to Kota Bharu as the last boat to the Island is 4:30pm ; if you travel a day before the event ( oct 5).
about boat transfer:  Boats leave Kuala Besut (Jetty)  for Perhentian from 8 am to 4.30 pm and return at 8am, 12pm and 4 pm. The boat trip takes half an hour but allow for one hour for planning travel times. Normal boat fee is rm70 round-trip.
You can book our panel boat ride via this link please click here

swim course