The Grenada Amateur Swimming Association in collaboration with title sponsor Ariza Credit Union, Aquamoon Adventure, FINA and the Grenada Tourism Authority hosted a successful inaugural Open Water Swim invitational on Saturday, 21 September 2019.
Swimmers from some 13 states across the USA, Canada, Mexico and as far as Sweden along with our local resident swimmers converged on Grand Anse beach to compete in the 1 km, 3 km, 5 km and 10 km courses.
Over 130 swimmers ranging from ages 6 – 71 participated in the events, inclusive of a contingent of 10 swimmers from Carriacou and over 35 swimmers who were visiting Grenada specifically to participate in the Open Water event for the first time. Randy Nutt of Aquamoon Adventures shared, “the response has been tremendous for a first time event as we anticipated approximately 20 visiting swimmers in the first year, however, we were able to attract almost 40 swimmers and already have inquiries for 2020.”
Speaking at the awards presentation Minister of Sports, Culture & the Arts, Senator Norland Cox noted that this type of event augurs well for the development of our local swimmers who have had excellent performances on the regional and international circuit. Through his Ministry, Senator Cox pledged his continued support toward the development of the Sport.
Honourable Nickolas Steele, Parliamentary Representative for St George South was extremely proud to witness the staging of this Open Water Invitational. Coming from a swimming family, Minister Steele reminisced, “this event has been more than 30 years in the making” and he is extremely pleased to see the dreams and plans of the many involved in swimming over the years has come to fruition. Partners in the event the Grenada Tourism Authority lauded the efforts of GASA for this inaugural event. Nautical Manager, Nikoyan Roberts committed the support of the GTA for the ongoing development of this Sports Tourism event, which has demonstrated its great potential for continued growth while bringing increased visitors to our shores.
Swimmers were awarded in age group categories, which spanned five years for each event. With the top male and female local and visiting swimmer was also awarded in each course distance.
President of GASA, Peron Johnson, indicated that this event is the evolution of the Cross Harbour Swim, which GASA previously hosted. The Ariza Pure Grenada Open Water Swim Invitational “allows our swimmers to utilise our existing resources for further training while we await the construction of a National Aquatic facility”. Additionally, the hosting of the Open Water Invitational positions Grenada to play host to OECS and Carifta Open Water events that will allow for increased opportunities for our swimmers to participate.
Johnson noted, “we have now established a template for Open Water events which will be developed to reach its maximum potential. Our team and partners are excited to review this inaugural event and start planning for 2020.’
GASA extends special thank you to all of the sponsors, volunteers and swimmers who participated in this event and looks forward to a bigger and better Ariza Pure Grenada Open Water Swim Invitational in 2020.
Overall top performers were:
- Haynes, Parshawn 14 GRN: 15:49.13
- John, Abigail 14 GRN: 17:22.47
- Inde, Niklas 26 SWE-AD: 17:43.94
- Antoine, Thabo 17 GRN: 44:41.85
- Gresham, Zackary 14 GRN: 44:41.85
- Hyson, Gabrielle 14 GRN: 47:08.15
- Williams, Dajenel 20 GRN: 1:12:15.17
- Zerpa, Eli 16 GRN: 1:17:49.52
- Benoit, Jenebi 16 GRN: 1:17:51.37
- Bowman, Bambi 45 USA-AD: 2:57:02.36
- Kalibat, Rebecca 56 USA-AD: 3:04:10.65
- Dwyer, Brian 58 USA-AD: 3:06:22.09