The Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) hosted the 33rd National Open Water Swimming Championships (2019) at Ffryes Beach, St. Mary’s, Antigua, on Sunday, 1st December, 2019.
This picturesque beach was a fantastic venue to this year’s event, which attracted over 50 swimmers in a competition that saw the athletes compete in three distances: 1-kilometer, 3-kilometer and 5-kilometer (as measured by GPS). Swimmers ranged in age from under eight years old to over 80.
At the awards ceremony which followed the event the distance champions were crowned. Overall winners for this year were Mila Festini-Cromer (female) and Ruben Edwards (male) in the 1-kilometer. Ellie Shaw (female) and Ethan Stubbs-Green (male) in the 3 kilometer. Angelique Gittens (female) and Brandon Derrick (male) in the grueling 5- kilometer swim also claimed prizes.
Age Groups for this year’s events were: 8 & under, 9 – 10, 11 – 12, 13 – 14, 15 – 17, 18 – 24, 25 – 34, 35 – 44, and 45 & over. Affiliation to an existing swim club was not a prerequisite, however, swimmers were required to submit to a brief physical prior to participating.
The Ffryes Beach course was triangular and demarcated by three large turn buoys. The focus on safety was evident as several lifeguards were on duty, including several on kayaks in the water, spread along the course. Personnel from Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Red Cross were also on hand to support the event.
As usual, the ABSF invites anyone with an interest in learning to swim or wanting to improve their strokes to visit a local swimming club and enquire about their programmes.
The Antigua and Barbuda National Swim Team next travels to Peru to take part in the UANA Swimming Cup hosted by Union Americana de Natacion (UANA).
The event is scheduled to be held at The Videna Aquatic Complex, in Lima, Peru, February 21-23.