Stroked egos await new champs

The scene is set for a nail biting
end to the third and final Ogier Stroke & Stride series today.

Both the men’s and women’s division
will have a new champion this year because Lizzy Haines and Marius Acker will
not have completed all three round in this series.

In the men’s division Scott
Brittain leads in a combined time of 40 minutes and 40 seconds, only 42 seconds
ahead of Johan Heath. Brittain is the fastest middle and long distance runner
on these shores who has trained hard to improve his swimming. Heath is an accomplished
triathlete, a stronger swimmer than the Aussie but he will need a considerable
lead when coming out of the 800 metres swim to stay ahead on the two-mile run.

Ray Welds is three minutes behind
Heath but capable of winning too if either slips up. JP Hanekom is only 16
seconds behind Welds so he too has everything to fight for. Heath was second
overall last year so is desperate to go one better.

It was another impressive turn out
of over 120 entrants, including Governor Duncan Taylor who continues to impress
with his vast array of snazzy swim trunks. This week we were treated to
shocking pink. TJ Olivier doubled up his baby sitting duties with exercise
again by pushing his stroller with two little ones enjoying the ride.

Acker won the first Stroke &
Stride two weeks ago but was absent last week’s when Brittain won. American
visitor Ashley Naelon took first place for the women and Team Mamber of Amber
Myrie and Mark Hogan was the first team home for the second consecutive week.

Caroline Cahill has won both
women’s races but she only holds a lead of just under two minutes over Pam
Travers who is a better swimmer. The swim length the first week was 400m, then
600m so Travers will get ahead as much as possible in today’s 800m swim knowing
that Cahill could overhaul her on the run. Waiting to pounce if either makes a
mistake is Justine Plenkiewicz who is three minutes behind Travers but could
still spring a surprise. 

The race starts at 5.45pm at Sunset
House again. Pre-registration is available at My Bar, Sunset House between 4:30
and 5:15pm today or online at www.caymanactive.com. Entry is $10 per race, individuals
and teams. Minimum age is 13 years and participants under the age of 16 must be
accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Team Mamber’s time of
39:25 have a slim 62 second lead over the Cajun Hounds of Andrew Smilley and
Bill Edwards. Afrikanada are third in 41:25. Fourth team is JP Hanekom and
Russell Coleman.

SPORTSswimSTORY

The Ogier Stroke & Stride entry should be the best yet.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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