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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Beauty In Barbados, A Freestyling Festival

Courtesy of Kristina Evelyn, Carlisle Bay, Barbados.

David Heron and Taylor Abbott dominated the 1.5 km and 5 km swims at the 6th Barbados Open Water Festival last weekend. while Pan American double medalist Chelsea Colwill was in a league of her own over the 1.5 km and 10 km distance and Olympic medalist Ashley Whitney was victorious in the women's 5 km race.

Trinidadians Nikoli Blackman and Savannah Chee-Wah won the 3.3 km race and Canadian Taylor Parker defended his 2016 10 km victory.

Heron and Abbott – distance freestyle teammates at the University of Tennessee who are training to follow in the footsteps of their retired Olympian and world champion Alex Meyer - set the pace in both the 1.5 km and 5 km races, but American 5 km champion Heron edged out the younger Abbott - the 2014 world junior world champion - for the wins in both events. 24-year-old Heron set a new course record for the 1.5 km with a 17:14 swim and the pair provided another close race in the 5 km.

Heron had a faster swim-to-shore transition as they both emerged from the water and then raced up the beach to the finish. Barbados’ Olympic triathlete Jason Wilson tried to stay with the two in the lead pack, but was unable to keep up as he settled for third place. Junior competitive Barbadian swimmer, Nkosi Dunwoody, was fourth.

29-year-old Colwill set new course records in both the 1.5 km in 18:17 and 10 km races in 2 hours 14 minutes.

12-year-old Nikoli Blackman of Trinidad shared some of the limelight with the Olympians when he finished third in the 1.5 km behind older collegiate swimmers and easily won the 3.3 km race.

The Barbados Open Water Festival was celebrating its sixth event this past weekend with 597 swimmers from 17 countries over four distances in Carlisle Bay.

Co-event director Kristina Evelyn explained, "Swimmers arrived from England, Canada, Wales, Poland, Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Brazil, Australia, United States, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Antigua and Barbados.

The competitive races segment of the 5-day event opened Saturday morning with 336 swimmers completing the 1.5 km swim in the Bay. 60 of them opted for a Fun Swim supporting The Variety Club of Barbados. On the second day, 246 swimmers competed in 3.3 km (84 swimmers), 5 km (119 swimmers) and the 10 km marathon swim (43 swimmers)
."

Husband and co-director Zary Evelyn added, "Swimmers ranged in age from 6 to over 75 years old. It was a wonderful mix of ages, abilities and nationalities. We had Olympians, a junior world champion, masters swimming champions, competitive junior swimmers, elite swimmers, club champions, triathletes, water polo players, recreational swimmers, novice swimmers, pool swimmers, lake swimmers and sea swimmers. Many of the swimmers take part in the practice swims and casual dinners in the days ahead of event and this adds a wonderful social element with many new friendships being made at the Festival every year.

There are many regulars at the Barbados Open Water Festival, several swimmers have been visiting for the past five years including the popular Jersey Girls. This informal group of energetic ladies is led by Susan Kirk and Sarah Clark, passionate open water swimmers, who first visited Barbados years ago and now bring up to 25 swimmers with their group
."

John Corcoran of Thunder Bay, Ontario is another regular overseas visitor to Barbardos. He swam his first career 10 km marathon swim on his fifth visit.

Dominika Jamnicky, a professional Canadian triathlete, took second in both the women's 1.5 km and 5 km races. Canadian Olympians Katie Brambley and Tera van Beilen (4th in 10 km race). Retired professional triathlete Eney Jones and 45-year-old Alison Hayden (2nd in 10 km) were also in attendance.

Ubiquitous masters swimmer Bill Ireland made his first appearance in Barbados, finishing sixth in the 3.3 km.

Two special awards were handed out to Barbadian swimmers over the weekend. The Jonathan Morgan Memorial Trophy was won for the third time by Rick Peters who was the fastest Barbadian masters swimmer in the 5 km.

A strong swim by 22-year-old Barbadian Simon Wilkie earned him third place in the men’s 10 km marathon swim and won the coveted Chris & Peter Gibbs Trophy for the first Barbadian in that race.

Kristina and Zary Evelyn acknowledged that Barbados was very fortunate in 2017 to have been spared by two Category 5 Hurricanes that caused total devastation in many other islands. During the Festival a collection of money, non-perishable foods, medical supplies and toiletries was made and donated towards a group helping with the relief effort in nearby Dominica.

The husband-and-wife team were honored for their efforts with the following nomination for the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, part of the annual WOWSA Awards: "Kristina Evelyn and Zary Evelyn have delivered Barbados to the international open water swimming community. Through Kristina’s ubiquitous, omnipresent social media promotions, through their hosting of Olympians and well-known personalities at the Barbados Open Water Swimming Festival, and through their combined efforts to establish and welcome swimmers and influence-makers around the world, Evelyn has created the ambiance and footprint of Barbados that is only shared among much more established and older events. The husband-and-wife team recruits their children, parents, cousins, and various friends to put on an outstanding event as they expertly stretch an extremely limited budget while serving as hosts to swimmers from dozens of countries. Their constant promotional and organizational efforts put Barbados on the global open water swimming map; their creative marketing programs and initiatives incorporate the natural beauty of Barbados; they executive a relentlessly positive, year-round, comprehensive approach to organizing the multi-event Barbados Open Water Swimming Festival."

The nominees for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year are as follows:

1. Barbados Open Water Swimming Festival with Kristina Evelyn & Zary Evelyn (Barbados)
2. Khitindra Chandra Baishya (Bangladesh)
3. Sven Eckardt (Germany)
4. India National Open Long Distance Swimming Championship Escort Rowers (India)
5. Margarita Llorens Bagur (Spain)
6. Igor Lukin (Russia)
7. Madswimmer by Jean Craven (South Africa)
8. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France)
9. Stephen Rouch (USA)
10. Jason Snell (UK)
11. Christof Wandratsch (Germany)
12. Wild Swimming Brothers (Great Britain)

To register and vote on the WOWSA Awards and the 2017 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year here.

10 km Marathon Swim Results:
1. Chelsea Colwill (29) 2:14:28.24
2. Taylor Parker (16) 02:16:56.17
3. Alison Hayden (45) 2:24:02.45
4. Diego López Dominguez (36) 2:25:28.27
5. Stacy Fennell (41) 2:30:19.53
6. Tera van Beilen (24) 2:32:00.91
7. Simon Wilkie (22) 2:33:21.95
8. Annie Conforti (40) 2:34:07.48
9. Howie Silleck (38) 2:34:25.23
10. Sonya Silleck (39) 2:36:54.78
11. Julie Madison (29) 2:39:43.63
12. Ali Pearson (48) 2:40:20.31
13. Nicole Willingham (36) 2:40:44.79
14. Maxwell Adams (48) 2:41:40.34
15. Allyson Friday (40) 2:42:49.41
16. Gareth Grier (42) 2:43:07.31
17. Lauren Pacheco (30) 2:43:10.13
18. William Carr (38) 2:43:53.82
19. Jenny Gerson (34) 2:44:03.32
20. Danielle Carlson (30) 2:45:00.65
21. Bethamy Aronow (52) 2:47:15.05
22. Adam Cripwell (35) 2:48:15.66
23. George Hall (31) 2:52:17.84
24. Amanda Garcia (55) 2:58:29.15
25. Holly Donnelly (44) 3:00:00.48
26. Alison Pile (52) 3:07:10.63
27. Rachel Wall (19) 3:13:54.87
28. James Clarke (49) 3:14:56.54
29. Melissa Powell (36) 3:15:36.73
30. Mick Hinde (50) 3:19:28.82
31. Andrew Fry (38) 3:20:03.08
32. Phil Merritt (50) 3:20:42.59
33. Amy Pedder (42) 3:21:27.23
34. Josef Polcz (58) 3:38:36.42
35. Kara Permisohn (45) 3:38:39.11
36. Simon Zellner (37) 3:50:18.31
37. Peter Wall (58) 3:57:20.10
38. John Corcoran (58) 4:01:13.02
39. Fanika Simic (54) 4:01:13.58

5 km Swim Top 10 Results:
1. David Heron (22) 1:00:58.86
2. Taylor Abbott (19) 1:00:59.26
3. Jason Wilson (27) 1:03:09.67
4. Nkosi Dunwoody (15) 1:03:24.00
5. Nathaniel Roach (15) 1:03:30.04
6. Eric Lashley (14) 1:03:32.14
7. Diego Dulieu (12) 1:06:51.74
8. Ashley Whitney (38) 1:07:16.00
9. Gregory Paggi (39) 1:08:24.48
10. Dominika Jamnicky (24) 1:09:03.38

3.3 km Swim Top 10 Results:
1. Nikoli Blackman (12) 44:10.75
2. Christopher Pollard (13) 45:52.84
3. Savannah Chee-Wah (12) 46:00.00
4. Keilani Talma (13) 46:57.47
5. Danielle Treasure (14) 47:07.78
6. Jessica Thorpe (32) 47:49.20
7. Eney Jones (56) 49:10.39
8. Stanley Brooker (40) 50:49.60
9. Adia Deane (12) 51:05.19
10. John Howard (45) 51:33.85

1.5 km Swim Top 10 Results:
1. David Heron (22) 17:14.52
2. Taylor Abbott (19) 17:18.50
3. Nikoli Blackman (12) 17:31.14
4. Jason Wilson (27) 17:34.38
5. Nkosi Dunwoody (15) 17:35.61
6. Nathaniel Roach (15) 17:37.07
7. Eric Lashley (14) 18:26.45
8. Taylor Parker (16) 18:27.83
9. Diego Dulieu (12) 18:33.72
10. Christopher Pollard (13) 19:01.08

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