Pirates Week sea swim celebrates 37 years

| 20/11/2017
CNS Local Life

Top swimmers with overall winner (L-R) John Bodden, Liam Henry, Alex Dacers, Raya Embury-Brown, Avery Lambert and Canadian Olympian Stephanie Horner

(CNS Local Life): Almost 40 swimmers took part in the 37th Annual Open Water 5K, held during Pirates Week, with the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) hosting international swimmer Stephanie Horner for the event. Canadian Horner kept the pace with local swimmers John Bodden, Liam Henry and Alex Dacers and then pulled ahead of the pack to win the race in a time of 58:14.

Bodden edged out the rest of the first pack to place second overall (1.03.55). Liam Henry (third, 1.04.18) and Alex Dacers (fourth, 1.04.41) rounded out the top finishers, followed by Jordan Crooks and Zachary Moore. Not far behind this group were the second and third women swimmers, Avery Lambert (1.07.32) and Raya Embury-Brown (1.08.13), followed by Elana Sinclair and Stephanie Royston. All together 38 swimmers participated in the event, for KPMG is the headline sponsor.

Horner is a freestyle and butterfly specialist. She won four medals at the 2007 Pan American Games, and competed for her native country at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, and London, respectively. She also made the 2011 Canadian World Championships team, qualifying in the 400m individual medley event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. In 2016, she was officially named to Canada’s Olympic team for the 2016 Summer Olympics in the open-water swim event. In April 2017, Horner was named to Canada’s 2017 World Aquatics Championships team in Budapest, Hungary.

CIASA technical director Bailey Weathers explained why the association hosts international swimmers. “In addition to supporting our sponsors by providing a wider audience to Cayman swimming, swimmers like Stephanie Horner really engage with our younger athletes. They provide strong role models and help keep our swimmers motivated,” he said, adding, “[W]ith Stephanie’s experience, she is able to share the bigger picture and what it takes to get there.” Horner and Weathers conducted open-water clinics for CIASA members the day before the main event with a focus on turns and passing for experienced swimmers and safety and starts for newcomers to open-water competitions.

CIASA president Michael Lockwood said of the event: “I would like to acknowledge the swimmers who competed in this event and distance for the very first time. Well done on your achievement of this challenging distance.”

“CIASA would also like to congratulate Mr Frankie Flowers for completing the 5K sea swim at 70 years old. He was our oldest competitor and is an inspiration for all swimmers.”

Caymanian swimmer and Olympian, Laura Butler, representing KPMG, presented CIASA with a cheque for $15,000 prior to the event to Weathers, Horner and a swimmer from each of the three swim clubs on Grand Cayman.

Sheenah Hislop, KPMG partner, said, “KPMG is immensely proud to partner with CIASA, as we share the vision, passion and determination for the swimmers to excel not only in their sport, but to cultivate such positive achievement and inspiration into their real life experiences. We are happy to support CIASA in their efforts.”

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Category: Sports, Swimming

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