The swimming community had a full schedule over the weekend, with a 5K swim and two clinics for younger swimmers.
The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association hosted international swimmer Emily Brunneman. She was named the USA Swimming Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year by CSCAA Scholar All-America in 2010, and more recently was selected as the Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas athlete representative for the open water technical committee. Also there, lending his expertise, was Denny Ryther, chairman of UANA.
Ryther heads a committee responsible for international open water swimming events. Brunneman and Ryther held the clinics for young swimmers focusing on open water technique and skill sets for distance swimming.
Together with 49 other swimmers, Brunneman competed in the 35th Annual Pirates Week 5K swim, sponsored by KPMG.
It was a beautiful morning on Seven Mile Beach with lovely conditions for the swim. Competitors ranging from youngsters hoping to compete internationally were given the opportunity for some great experience navigating markers and contending with a slight current, to an older contender who had never swum in an open water race and who was thrilled to compete in the four-loop course.
Brunneman maintained pace with local swimmers John Bodden and Eddie Weber for the first two loops, pulling slightly ahead by the third loop.
She won the race in a time of 1 hour, 05 minutes and 10 seconds.
Second- and third-place was well fought, with Bodden (1:06:41) edging out Weber by just 1/100 of a second.
Rory Barrett rounded out the top three male finishers in 1:10:59. Completing the top three females finishers were Catriona MacRae (1:11:11) and Ria Plunkett (1:12:51).
Brunneman said, “This morning was a beautiful race and very well run. I saw a sea turtle, two huge stingrays and my favorite fish.”
Representing KPMG at the swim was Tim Achtstatter, a director with KPMG who is very involved in the swimming community. He volunteered as a sea marshal and presented the awards.
Sandy Hew, race director, said, “Together with our sponsors KPMG and Pirates Week, CIASA is proud to continue the tradition of the Pirates Week 5K swim. We also would like to thank Ann Stafford, who has kept a wonderful history of swimming to include the 5K races. “The original 5K swim held in 1980, organized by Raglan Roper, started at the George Town dock and finished at Galleon Beach [now the Westin/Villas of the Galleon].”