The 56-year-old finished the 800 metres – an out and back and around the protruding remains of the SS Maitai – swim in 11.04 minutes, just ahead of New Zealand’s Graham Perks and Sam Kettle.
Perks clocked 11.07 minutes, while the International Triathlon winner Kettle managed a time of 11.11 in the closely contested race.
On her way back to the finish line, Loveridge wandered off the track a bit but managed to get back to the finish line ahead of other swimmers who were rushing through.
“I didn’t realise I had won the event until the very end of the race. I didn’t expect to win, I was hoping to be the first female to finish the race but to win overall is an overwhelming feeling,” Loveridge said.
“I have done the Boiler Swim twice before but this is the first time I did in the international triathlon event.”
Loveridge took part in the team event on Saturday’s Air New Zealand International Triathlon.
She was the last-minute addition to the KFC team and did the 1.5 kilometre swim in which she finished third in a time of 24.56 minutes.
Loveridge said swimming was her passion, adding she swam 4km daily since moving to the Cook Islands about 20 months ago.
Cook Islands Triathlon president Roland Neururer hailed the Boiler Swim event a success.
Neururer said the turnout at the event which was initially scheduled for Thursday before getting postponed to yesterday, was “reasonable”.
There were about 100 registered participants, but only 56 took part in the swim.
“The conditions were good and we managed to see some close race especially in the top three,” Neururer said.
“It is pleasing to see a female swimmer from the Cook Islands take the overall title.”
New Zealand Olympian Nathan Richmond holds the course record of 9 minutes in the boiler swim. He set this time in 2001 under exceptional conditions.
Meanwhile the Ride Rarotonga Tour de Raro Cycle Race was held later yesterday