Barbadian swimmers will have the opportunity to line up with Alex Meyer, former world champion, current US champion and recent silver medallist in Kazan, when the whistle sounds at the open water races in Carlisle Bay this November.
Meyer won the 5K race here in 2014 and was so impressed with the conditions that after the race he declared: “This is what open water swimming is all about!”
The 2014 Barbados Open Water Festival attracted 217 swimmers including Meyer, junior open water world champion, Taylor Abbott, and several other elite swimmers from Badger Swim Club in New York. Since its inaugural event in 2013 the festival has attracted swimmers of all ages and abilities from multiple countries around the world.
This year will be more of the same, with the festival welcoming its first team from Australia; the twelve-member team will be representing the Doncaster Dolphins. Competition is expected to be heated across all age categories with top Barbadian junior swimmers, masters swimmers, triathletes and water polo players pitting their prowess and home “sea” advantage against the visitors. Barbadian swimmers held their own in 2014 with standout performances from Jack Kirby, Danielle Titus, Nicholas Hall and Alexis Clarke.
The festival will have an expanded format this year with the 1.5K and 5K races being held over two days (November 7 and 8) to accommodate the expected increase in entrants and to allow swimmers to swim both races. With the continued growth in numbers competing, the organisers saw a need to have the races timed with a chip time system, rather than manually, to achieve greater accuracy and allow timely posting of results. To this end a “Jaguar Platinum” system has been acquired for use at the November event.
The Just for Fun 1.5K will be of great significance in 2015 with proceeds from this event supporting the highly deserving “Variety: The Children’s Charity”. “You Swim . . . They Win!” is the slogan for this charity race and organisers hope that local swimmers who don’t want to race will come out to enjoy this event and lend their support to a worthy cause.
The two days of activities will include the customary high-energy Kayak and Stand Up Paddle relay races as well. All events will start in front of Copacabana Beach Bar on Bay Street. Competitors can learn more about any of the races or enter by visiting the web site at: http://www.swimbarbadosvacations.com.