Camana Bay almost reached JA

Camana Bay Aquatic Club swimmers, friends, family and supporters came together last week to raise funds for the competitive swim club’s 2013 endeavours.

They had the second annual Swim-a-Thon Fundraiser. The event raises money for the club’s operational expenses, including pool time, swim programmes, meets and events like the Open Water Swim Series.

On Saturday 19 January, 83 swimmers took part in the From Cayman to CARIFTA Swim-a-Thon at the Camana Bay pool and set themselves a target of swimming 225 miles, the distance from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“We wanted to beat last year’s record of 201.75 miles,” said Dave Bott, club assistant coach. “So we decided to challenge ourselves to ‘swim to Jamaica,’ which is where the 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships take place in March.”

MaplesFS Select swimmers swam for an impressive three hours, while Age Group Development swam for just over two hours, Sprats gold and silver swimmers went for one hour and 30 minutes and Sprats bronze for 45 minutes.

“We worked with our swimmers to set realistic guidelines,” said Bott. “Some decided to swim and see how many laps they could do, while others set personal time and distance goals.

“Their determination was unbelievable – many swimmers kept swimming well beyond their age group’s designated time to accomplish their own individual goals.”

The team swam a total of 6,929 laps of the Camana Bay pool and while they fell only 10 miles short of their goal, they smashed last year’s fundraising efforts of $14,000, raising $19,330.20 which was an average of $250 per person and a tremendous achievement.

“The Swim-a-Thon is not only a club fundraiser, but a fun, social event for club swimmers, friends and family,” said Bott.

“All age groups and levels came together as one team to raise money and it was great to see the unity amongst the training groups, especially to see novice swimmers being supported by older MaplesFS and Age Group Development swimmers. They swam their hearts out to help their club and had a lot of fun along the way.”

While swimmers stroked, Camana Bay Aquatic Club parents and volunteers cheered from the sidelines, counting laps, keeping tally and preparing a post-swim Jamaican-themed breakfast, with Caribbean music and an awards ceremony.

Total Distance Completed Awards were presented to Lara Humphries (Sprats Bronze Squad), Eryn Cormick (Sprats Silver Squad), Will Geldard and Liam Sinclair (Sprats Gold Squad), Sabrina Weber (Age Group Development Squad) and Coral Tomascik (MaplesFS Squad).

Top Fundraising Awards were given to Lara Humphries (Sprats Bronze Squad), Connor MacDonald (Sprats Silver Squad), Amber Barnes (Sprats Gold Squad), Jordan Crooks (Age Group Development Squad) and Flynn Hope (MaplesFS Squad). Jordan Crooks earned Top Overall Fundraiser with a total of $1,624.

“Congratulations to everyone who took part in this astounding achievement,” said club president, Jeffrey Wight. “We saw some fantastic swims and had so much support from family and friends which brought a great atmosphere to the pool.

“Thank you to everybody who helped out on the day. The event would not have run so smoothly without you. A big thank you goes to all of our swimmers, who lead us to the impressive 215.27 mile completion and to our coaches, who organised a fantastic event and were there to cheer on their team.”

Next on the Camana Bay Aquatic Club calendar is the second annual Open Water Swim Series, a three-part series of family-friendly open water events.

Starting Saturday 9 February, it is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities and is a great way to learn a vital life skill, get wet and have fun.

From a 200 metres Lollipop Dash for swimmers 10 and under who are new to open water swimming, to sea swims and water walks – there is an event for everyone.

For more information on the Open Water Swim Series and upcoming CBAC meets and events, email [email protected] To stay up to date with the latest Club happenings, like Camana Bay Aquatic Club on Facebook.