Relay raised vital CARIFTA funds and plenty of laughs

The first Cayman Islands Open Water Relay race, which took place on Seven Mile Beach earlier this month, helped raised funds to send the 2014 Cayman Islands National Junior Swim Team to compete at CARIFTA.

The swim team will compete at CARIFTA in Aruba from Tuesday until Saturday of this week in pool and open water events. The 34-member team, which includes 28 swimmers, three coaches, two managers and a physio, will return on Sunday.

The Open Water Relay, organized by CARIFTA assistant coach Andy Copley, was declared Cayman’s best new swimming event by devoted volunteer Sara MacKay. If the high spirits and enthusiasm of the spectators and participants were an indication of the event’s success, then MacKay was absolutely correct.

Every member of the 2014 National Junior Team took part in the relay, as did several members of the senior team – Geoffrey Butler, Alex McCallum and Lara Butler – who are home for the Easter break.

“We wanted to do something that pumped a bit of new life back into the open water swimming program in Cayman and I think this accomplished that goal,” said coach Copley. “There were a lot of people cheering and smiling and laughing throughout the event, so I think everybody had a lot of fun. I hope this can become an annual event and something we can build upon in the future.”

The course was triangular with each leg of the relay starting and finishing on land. Two age categories competed with the 12-Under swimmers racing a 4×500 meter relay and the 13-Overs racing a 4x800m relay.

While all of the performances deserve celebration, one of the standout swims was by Adrien Royston who braved the course by himself, swimming all four legs of the relay totaling 3.2 km.

Royston, the swimming federation’s treasurer, is currently training for the 5k and 10k events at the Flowers Sea Swim in June.

Michelle Bailey, Sandy Hew and Jackie Rowland assisted in organizing this successful event.

To volunteer to help or for more information, contact the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association at [email protected]

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