Stingray swimmers had pirates singing

The weather held fine, the competition was fierce – as were the pirates on Saturday morning – but most importantly the level of sportsmanship was high and everyone had fun over the three days of the traditional Pirates Week Swim Meet, the Mike Lockwood Memorial.

This year it was sponsored by Walkers, as three teams and a number of unattached swimmers from Jamaica came to take on the Stingray Swim Club and other local swimmers. The meet referee went out of his way to thank the Jamaican coaches for the behaviour and politeness of their young charges.

David Bromfield of the Speedos left his mark on Cayman swimming two years ago at this meet when he won the 11-12 high points award. But Stingray’s Seiji Groome had his number this time and emerged victorious in all of their tightly contested races. What was really nice to see was the great sportsmanship and friendship between the two. They have raced many times now and Groome, who won all his races and took Shaune Fraser’s club and pool records for the 13-14 100 metre breaststroke, knows that this will only spur Bromfield on to match him next time they meet.

Friday night was for the diehards with some serious swimming going on and finishing with the distance races, the 800m and 1500m freestyle. Saturday brought sun, a cooling wind, the Minister for Sport Alden McLaughlin and the pirates – ferried to the pool by Michael Lockwood, son of the late Mike – who sang a song and posed for photos.

A wonderful morning of swimming was topped off with the relays which brought the crowd and swimmers alike alive. There was also a special relay when the Jamaicans put out a mixed team to take on Cayman’s best over 4×100.

The sun shone again on Sunday and the little ones, the 6 and unders, came out. Again the competition was hard but the smiles kept coming and Julian Black who represented the sponsors Walkers in handing out the prizes, must have been delighted with what he saw. The Pirates Week Meet is very special to the Stingray Swim Club, and the making of new and continuation of old friendships with the Jamaican swimming community in the context of hard, fair competition and many smiling faces is something to cherish. This was the first meet for two six-year olds, Alex Dakers and Douglas Rowland and much is expected of them in the future.

Notable for mention are the Hussey and Chung families from Jamaica who swept the six and under and eight and under high points awards, with Rebecca and Savannah Hussey winning all their age-group races. The two six-year-olds Rebecca and Tyler Chung also swam many races in the 8 and under category, and in the 50m butterfly the Chungs and Husseys filled the first two spots in both races. Older broher Reuben Hussey also swam well.

Robert Marshall must like coming here; he already had four Lions Pool records at eight and under level and now he has four more at 9-10, breaking the record at 50m free, 100m free, 50m breast and 100m breast

Swim official Sara MacKay said: ‘Stingray Swim Club would like to thank Walkers for their support of Cayman swimming and to progressive distribution for once again providing the refreshments. Also a big thank you to all who volunteered and to the children who behaved very well over the three days.’

The next Stingray meet will be in the New Year. Anyone wanting to join or find out more about the club, call the secretary on 925-5410, talk to any board member or visit Full results of this meet, club and pool records and all Cayman swimming events are posted on the website.

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