Pirates Week sea swim celebrates 35 years

| 18/11/2015
Cayman News Service

Top finishers (L-R) Zachary Moore, Ria Plunkett, Catriona MacRae, Rory Barrett, Eddie Weber, John Bodden and Emily Brunneman

(CNS): Last weekend was full of action for the swimming community, with a 5K race and two clinics for younger swimmers. The 35th Annual Pirates Week 5K Sea Swim, sponsored by KPMG and held Saturday, 14 November, featured 50 entrants, including international swimmer Emily Brunneman.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) hosted Brunneman, who was named the USA Swimming Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by CSCAA Scholar All-America in 2010. More recently, she was selected as the Unión Americana de Natación (UANA or the Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas) athlete representative for the open-water technical committee.

On hand as well to lend his expertise was UANA chairman Denny Ryther, who heads a committee responsible for preparing and executing competitive and safe international open-water swimming events.

Competitors at the 5K race ranged from young swimmers hoping to compete internationally, learning to navigate markers and contend with a slight current, to an older contender who had never participated in an open-water race.

Brunneman maintained pace with local swimmers John Bodden and Eddie Webber for the first two loops, then pulled slightly ahead. She won the race in a time of 1.05.10. In a well-fought battle, Bodden took second in 1.06.41, just edging Weber by 1/100 of a second. Rory Barrett finished third in a time of 1.10.59. Rounding out the top three female finishers were Catriona MacRae (1.11.11) and Ria Plunkett (1.12.51).

Brunneman and Ryther also held two clinics for young swimmers, focusing on open-water technique and skill sets the athletes should learn so they can succeed in distance swimming.

Commenting on the event, Brunneman said, “This morning was a beautiful race and very well run. I saw a sea turtle, two huge stingrays and my favourite fish.”

Tim Achtstatter, who represented KPMG at the race and is very involved in the swimming community, volunteered as a sea marshal and presented awards to the swimmers.

“KPMG is immensely proud to partner with CIASA, as we share the same vision, passion and determination for swimmers to excel,” Achtstatter said. “The development of the 5K swim has done extremely well over the years and we promote the growth and enthusiasm for this event and those who have participated.”

Sandy Hew, race director and CIASA board member, added, “Together with our sponsors, KPMG and Pirates Week, CIASA is proud to continue the tradition of the Pirates Week 5K swim.

“We also would like to thank Ann Stafford who has kept a wonderful history of swimming to include the 5K races. The original 5K swim held in 1980, organized by Raglan Roper, started at the George Town dock and finished at Galleon Beach (now the Westin/ Villas of the Galleon).”

Full results have been posted on the  CIASA website

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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