Aquatic club swim series reaches finale

| 21/03/2013

CBAC-Open-Water.gif(CBAC): Swimmers and water walkers are now gearing up for the final event in the Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) beginner-friendly Open Water Swim Series. On Saturday 23rd March, the concluding event will start with a 200m Lollipop Dash, followed by a rewarding 800m Sea Swim and 800m Water Walk. The second event in the series took place on Saturday 16th March and was a success with more than 80 participants turning out on the day. “The series has been great for everyone,” says CBAC Assistant Coach Jessica Siegele. “It’s been nice to see returning faces in open water swimming – but it’s fantastic to see a lot of new faces, too,” she added.

Novice open water swimmers Emma Thomas and Nicola Williams took part in the Water Walk for the first time. “Both Emma and Nicola felt comfortable swimming in the pool but uncomfortable in the ocean, so they decided to try the Water Walk to build confidence for the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim in June,” explains CBAC Assistant Coach, Dave Bott, who paddled in a kayak next to the swimmers. He continued, “The 600m distance was further than they had expected, however, the ladies had a great time and enjoyed chatting about other swimming opportunities on-island, like our new adult swim programme and the Camana Bay Aquatic Club Swim School. This is what the Open Water Series is all about – encouraging less confident swimmers to come out and have fun, try a new sport and gain experience in the water.”

The CBAC team was joined by Special Olympics Cayman Islands athlete. Kanza Bodden, 15, who took part in the 600m Sea Swim. Despite being a confident swimmer herself, CBAC member Lois Moody, 16, swam side by side with Bodden throughout the course. “Lois is one of our Age Group Development swimmers – one the Club’s top swim groups – and could have easily completed the distance in a much faster time” explains Siegele. “However, the Open Water Series is a non-competitive event. Lois volunteers at the Special Olympics Cayman Islands swim sessions, held every Saturday at the Camana Bay Pool, so instead opted to swim with Kanza to encourage and help her through the long-distance course,” she said.

The series has allowed many swimmers – like Kanza, Emma and Nicola – to build open water confidence in a friendly environment, while giving others in the community an opportunity to test the waters of competitive swimming. “All our events are open to all swimmers of all ages and abilities,” says Siegele. “They’re a great way for the community to come together and enjoy one of our most beautiful resources here in Cayman. We are looking forward to Saturday’s event – and hope to see even more swimmers and walkers take to the water.”

The Club is also looking forward to hosting a very special guest at the Camana Bay Pool this week; 21-year old Great Britain Paralympic swimmer Emma Hollis. Hollis made her Paralympic debut at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where she competed in three events despite an ankle injury. Both Hollis and her younger brother, James, have osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic condition more commonly known as ‘brittle bone disease’. Both swimmers represented Great Britain in the Paralympics – Emma competed in the S8 class and James in S9. Hollis is also the current World Record Holder for S8 800m Freestyle and S8 400m Individual Medley.

“We are honoured to host such an inspiring, top athlete at the Camana Bay Pool,” says CBAC President, Jeffrey Wight. “Emma’s pure passion and drive has enabled her to succeed in both her swimming and her studies at Loughborough University in the UK and she is a role model to all young athletes in the Cayman Islands. Her visit will be a great final morale boost for the seven CBAC swimmers attending this month’s CARIFTA Swimming Championships as part of the Cayman Islands CARIFTA Swim Team – and CBAC member Danielle Boothe, who will compete for Jamaica.” Hollis will also join the Club for the Open Water 800m Sea Swim on Saturday at Governor’s Beach.

As the excitement builds ahead of the upcoming CARIFTA Swimming Championships, Wight is confident the Cayman Islands swimmers will do well. “I’m sure they will do brilliantly. They have worked so hard and I wish them all the best of luck,” he says. “I’d also like to thank CBAC’s platinum sponsor, MaplesFS. Without their continued support our swimmers would not have been able to attend this exciting international meet.”

Registration for the Open Water Swim Series is CI$15 per individual race and all swimmers will receive a CBAC Swim Cap. Registration can be made at the event from 2pm or online at

More information on the Open Water Series and upcoming CBAC events, can be found by visiting, emailing or calling 345.640.2878.

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