Do the Pan Pacs Have a Future?

SYDNEY, December 15. The future of the Pan Pacific championships has been cast into doubt, with the event in danger of losing its relevance, according to Swimming Australia, writes David Smith in

"Three of the event's four charter nations – the US, Australia and Canada – plan to conduct a review of the championships after they are next held in Vancouver in August 2006," Smith writes.

"Swimming Australia chief executive Glenn Tasker said cost factors and a crammed international calendar had raised questions about the event's future," the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun.

Tasker said the Pan Pacs had been an important meeting for Australia in the past, but the event's scheduling in the same year as the Commonwealth Games had become more of an issue.

The Pan Pacs were first held in 1985 and, aside from the four core nations, including Japan, every non-European country is invited to compete at the event, which is held every four years.

The problem, as Tasker indicated, is that the international schedule for each nation's "A" team has become increasingly crowded, to the point where some coaches feel it impacts training. Unmentioned in Smith's article is a series of options short of eliminating the Pan Pacs entirely. One such option would be to reduce the meet to a three-day rather than a week-long affair.

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