Caymanian ‘Essex boy’ swims to gold in Britain

| 06/11/2012

david ebanks (223x300).jpg(CIASA): David Ebanks, whose grandfather Levy Austin Ebanks, was from West Bay, swam to gold at the British Masters Nationals last month in the 50m and 200m breaststroke, pulling in two personal best times (pb’s) of 29.38 and 2:27.19 at the same time, under the Cayman flag. These recent accomplishments have focused him on qualifying for the 2013 Island Games in Bermuda and beyond that the Commonwealth Games. Born in Harold Wood, Essex, England in 1982, David started swimming with the Killerwhales Swimming Club based in Hornchurch, Essex when he was 10 years old.

He continued swimming, working his way up through the team’s squads – winning his first Essex Championships in 1997 in the 100m Breaststroke. In 1998 he won two more titles in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, qualifying for the British National Championships in Leeds; and that year he also won the Southern Counties Long Course Championships in the 200m breaststroke.

“My swimming career fizzled out when I was about 17 years old, but after returning to the pool in 2010 at 28 years old I realised I could still swim,” Ebanks said. “After 2 months training I beat my lifetime pb in the 50 and 100m Breaststroke at the local Essex Masters Champs – with times of 31.80 and 1:11.7 respectively.”

By the year end – October 2010 – David finished 7th at the British Masters Nationals in the 50m breaststroke in 31.23 a time which qualified him for the Island Games July 2011 – Isle of Wight.  Swimming for the Cayman Islands (his Caymanian Status was confirmed in 2000) David qualified for the 50m final where he swam a pb of 31.09 and finished in 5th place.

Continued training saw a new pb in his 50m Breaststroke to 29.88 and a 2nd place finish in the British Masters Nationals in 2011 and a 4th place finish in the 100m Breaststroke, with a pb of 1:06.42. In May 2012 David competed in the long course British Masters Nationals and finished 2nd in three events – the 50m Breaststroke, 30.90; 100m Breaststroke in 1:10.97 and the 200m Breaststroke in 2:37 in the 200m.

The British Masters Nationals gold medals in the 50m and 200m breaststroke were marred only by a too fast start in the 100m which saw him “struggling” home in 3rd place in 1:06.90 – lessons learned! A bonus swim in the 100IM gave him a 3rd place finish in a time of 1:01.43.

Ian Armiger, the Cayman Islands Technical Director for Swimming was delighted with the news of David’s recent swims.

“He is dropping time each time he swims and is well on his way, if he keeps up this level of training, to qualifying for the Island and Commonwealth Games where he would represent the Cayman Islands. This is great news for David and great news for Cayman Swimming.”

David’s grandfather Levy Austin Ebanks was born in Cayman and was from the West Bay area. David visited Grand Cayman in April of this year, where he spent time with his Uncle Des, who was born and raised in Essex, England with David’s father Michael but now lives in South Sound with his wife and two children. David also met some of his more distant relatives who still live in West Bay, many of whom knew his grandfather Levy (known locally as BB) verywell.

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