A swimming stroke originally used in competition by Australian swimmers, the Australian crawl was the basis for the freestyle stroke used extensively today. Although its origin is uncertain, tradition accords its development to an early twentieth-century Australian family of competitive swimmers, the Cavills. The early Australian crawl was similar to the natural style used by Pacific Islanders. The stroke, as developed by the Cavills, proved to be faster than the traditional breaststroke and quickly became popular.