Carifta swimming hopefuls chase their dreams

Local athletes competed in the fourth annual Cayman Islands National Championships, hosted by the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association at the Camana Bay Aquatic Centre from Feb. 16-19.

When CIASA started the nationals four years ago, with the support of the coaches from CIASA’s affiliated swim clubs, organizers said in a press release, it was decided to run the meet in a four-day, preliminary and finals format. This means that swimmers compete in preliminary heats in the morning, and then those who qualify for finals come back that night to compete for a place on the podium.

“This format is the format of choice in many international competitions and the experience it gives Cayman’s swimmers simply can’t be replicated in any other way,” said Bailey Weathers, CIASA technical director.

Carifta Championships, CCCAN Championships, Island Games and the World Masters Championships all use this format, and by competing events in a similar fashion, Cayman’s young swimmers can better develop strategies which will allow them to swim fast “enough” in the preliminary heats, organizers said in a press release, thus getting to the finals, and then faster in the finals.

“Our goal is to get Cayman swimming in to as many finals as possible and this is a step in the right direction towards preparing our swimmers to do so,” said Weathers.

Michael Lockwood, president of CIASA, said, “The National Swimming Championship … is a well-attended event by the swimming community and affords our swimmers a chance to experience what international competitions are like. The competition cannot be put on without the overwhelming support of our community and, in particular, our parents, sponsors, partners and volunteers.”

The National Championship is the last local meet in which Cayman’s hopefuls can achieve Carifta qualifying times for pool or open water events.

The 32nd Carifta Aquatics Championships are April 15-19 in the Bahamas.

For the 2017 Nationals results, visit: