Swimmers meet the challenge

Cayman swimmers showed impressive endurance in the Pirates’ Week 5k & 10k Sea Swims Saturday. A field of 22 swimmers took to the seas off Seven Mile Beach in the 26th Pirates’ Week 5k Sea Swim, sponsored by Texaco. This year, for the first time, the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association added a 10 kilometer race to the popular event, which attracted nine hearty swim-enthusiasts.

Brigitte Tomascik

10k winner Brigitte Tomascik

The races began with a combined start at 8am, and the fitness of the Stingray Swim-Club members proved evident from the get go, as Peter Stasiuk, Andrew Smilley and Summer Flowers took an early lead and held it to the end of the 5k event. Team-mates Zack Myrie and Seiji Groome competed in a head to head match that lasted 1 hour, 28 minutes as they came across the line in a dead-heat for fourth place overall.

The 10k swimmers took a more relaxed pace out from the start-line, to avoid burning out early in this grueling event. Brigitte Tomascik, the only Stingray Swim Club member who attempted the 10k distance, finished first overall with a respectable time of 2 hrs 44 minutes, followed by the Masters group led by David MacDonald and Jeanine Rix. It was worthy to note that none of the 10k swimmers had ever attempted such a long-distance swim before, and that none of the participants quit the race, even though some swimmers were clearly digging deeply to finish.

‘I would like to thank the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association for the professional manner in which they ran the 5 and 10 K Open Water Race last weekend,’ said swimmer Gerry Tyler. ‘Their attention to safety and procedure is exceptional. It would be nice to see this become a true international event! Special thanks to those who stayed and allowed me to finish.’

CIASA President Peter Mackay, who acted as Race Director, explained that the swim association added a 10 kilometer race as part of the 2006 Open Water swim calendar in preparation of hosting an international long-distance swimming championship in the Cayman Islands in the future. Mr. Mackay thanked Texaco for their long-standing support of Cayman Islands Open Water Swimming, and all the volunteers who helped make the event such a success.

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