The Stingray Swim Club and Consolidated Water have a relationship that stretches back over many years, one that was started when Pete Ribbins was president of Cayman Water. In the wake of Pete’s sad passing late last year, the traditional four-day meet earlier this month leading up to the announcement of the CARIFTA team was renamed the Pete Ribbins Memorial Meet with Consolidated Water still acting as sponsor.
National coach Dominic Ross spoke with affection about Pete’s support of all sport and his involvement with the Stingray club. He also introduced Pastor Randy von Kanel, another early supporter of SSC, who led the gathered swimmers, volunteers and supporters in prayer and then took his place in a timer’s chair.
The weather is usually kind to this meet and this year was no exception; over four days, the sun shone and the water sparkled with plenty of fresh breezes.
The swimmers were in good form too, starting with the distance events on Wednesday evening and finishing before noon on Sunday with the smallest ones turning out in force on Friday to fill the pool and the bleachers with enthusiasm.
Two swimmers, both Stingray club members and both going to CARIFTA – albeit for different teams – dominated the headlines as Lara Butler, in the middle of an astonishing run of form and Danielle Boothe broke eight records between them, with Boothe clearly showing Butler she is hot on her heels by breaking Lara’s pool and club records in the 13-14 year old 200 metre freestyle.
Boothe’s other three records in the 200m individual medley and 200m breaststroke were improvements on her own records
. Lara meanwhile was setting about older records, in the girls 15 and over 200m breaststroke she broke pool and club records from 2002 and 2004 respectively, and in the girls 15 and over 100m butterfly she broke Heather Roffey’s 2002 pool record.
Heather of course went on to swim at the Olympics.
There was plenty for the crowd to cheer. All over the pool individual battles were being played out, such as Geoffrey Butler powering away from Seiji Groome in the 400m and 1500m freestyle races, although Groome just had the edge in tight finishes in the 400m IM and the 200m freestyle.
Ultimately they both lost out to ‘veteran’ Andrew Smilley who took the 15 & over high points award.
Cole Morgan continued to swim beautifully and completely dominated his age-group, while Stefanie Boothe tussled all meet with Samantha Bailey not least in the 9-10 years 50m freestyle.
On Sunday Celine Macken, an old friend of the Ribbins family, presented the high points awards and witnessed the announcement of the CARIFTA team.
There were plenty of youngsters there and they could see in the pool and in the presentation of the CARIFTA team, the results of hard work training under dedicated coaches.
Stingray Swim Club thanked Consolidated Water for their continued support of swimming and to the wonderful coaching staff who were there through it all and worked so hard to make all of it possible.
They also gave a big thank you to all who volunteered and to the children who behaved very well over the four days.
The next SSC event is a Burner on 9 April, when another great turnout is anticipated, followed by the Stingray Easter Egg Hunt on 17 April.
Full results of this and all Cayman Swimming events are posted on the website (www.caymanswimming.com).