Lollipop Dash sugar coats it for novices

Swimmers and water walkers are primed for the second part of the Camana Bay Aquatic Club Open Water Swim Series this weekend.  

Originally scheduled for last weekend, the series was postponed due to inclement weather. The event is scheduled to begin with a 200 metre Lollipop Dash for children, followed by a 600m Sea Swim and a 600m Water Walk. 

This is the second year the swim club has hosted the open water series, which is open to swimmers of all ages and abilities. The series will conclude on Saturday, 23 March, with a 200m Lollipop Dash and a rewarding 800m sea swim and a 800m water walk. 

The first event, held last month, saw more than 130 participants turn out for a host of beginner-friendly events.  

“It went really well,” said Camana Bay Aquatic Club assistant coach Jessica Siegele. “We had great parent and volunteer support, which led to a well-organised meet and a positive experience for the swimmers, many of whom were taking part in an open water race for the very first time.”  

More than 20 little ones enjoyed a Lollipop Dash, designed for swimmers 10 and under, while the more confident ones participated in a 400m Sea Swim. 

The last event of the day was a waist high 400m water walk. “The water walk is a great beginner event,” Siegele said. “It’s all about encouraging less confident swimmers to come out and experience a new sport, build water confidence and basic swim skills, in a social safe environment.” 

The sea swim was won by Darren Mew, who completed the race in an impressive 4 minutes, 40 seconds. Second place went to Will Balderamos, with a time of 5:06. Coral Tomascik finished third in 5:15.  

“The sea swims are great practice for the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim in June,” Siegele adds. 

A Camana Bay Aquatic Club travel team also had a unique opportunity to practice for the 2013 CARIFTA Swimming Championships taking place later this month. A team of 24 swimmers recently travelled to Jamaica to compete in the Walter Rogers Age Group Swimming Championships, held last month at the National Stadium Pool in Kingston. 

Not only is the Walter Rogers Championship a CARIFTA-qualifying meet – the National Stadium Pool is also where the championships take place between 30 March and 3 April.  

“The Walter Rogers meet was a great opportunity for our CARIFTA team swimmers to get to know the event pool and to achieve their times to make the team,” Siegele said.  

Eight Jamaican teams, two Caymanian teams (CBAC and Stingray Swim Club) and one USA team competed in the event. 

As one of only three international teams, Camana Bay Aquatic Club finished in an impressive third place and saw a record-breaking number of fast swims.  

Overall, the team achieved 111 personal bests, 18 gold medals, 15 silver medals and nine bronze medals and set a new meet record.  

Highlights included Eddie Weber, who saw a huge time drop in his 400m freestyle to finish third with a CARIFTA-qualifying time.  

Avery Lambert, Carmella Ylagan, Maeve Anderson and Amber Barnes all achieved personal bests in the 50m backstroke, with Lambert taking first place.  

Danielle Boothe smashed the previous meet record for the 200m individual medley, clocking an impressive time of 2 minutes, 26.16 seconds. 

“We are very proud of all our swimmers,” said club president Jeffrey Wight. “The team swam really fast and there was a great team spirit.  

“The results are just one of many examples of the success of CBAC’s swim programme – congratulations to all the swimmers, coaches and volunteer parents on a successful meet. 

“We would also like to thank our sponsor MaplesFS for their continued support.”  

Last June, MaplesFS became CBAC’s first platinum sponsor, signing on to support training of CBAC’s top training group, now named MaplesFS Select, as well as to assist with team travel expenses and to support a scholarship programme.  

“Their sponsorship shows the willingness of the community to support what we are doing and it’s also recognition that we are doing it well,” Wight said. “Less than a year into the two-year sponsorship, it’s rewarding to be able to stand back and see where we started and how we have grown. And not just in numbers, but what we have grown into and achieved.” 

The club is set for Saturday’s open water swim event. Taking place at Governor’s Beach, the series is open to the public and allows the community to learn a vital life skill, enjoy a great workout and have fun. 


For more information on the Open Water Series and upcoming Camana Bay Aquatic Club events, call 640-2878. 

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