Open water clinic to help Pirate swimmers

| 22/10/2013

(CIASA): As the 2013 CIASA Open Water Season draws to a close with the 31st Annual Pirates Week 5K, on November 9th an opportunity to participate in a FINA Open Water Officiating Clinic the week before will allow swimmers to put newly learned skills to the test during the 5K sea swim. Open water swimming is an important part of Cayman’s swim history. For over 30 years CIASA has staged open water sea swims off Seven Mile Beach, with support from a number of longstanding sponsors: Fosters Food Fair-29 years, Lime-26 years, CUC-25 years, and ‘newcomer’ to the scene, Butterfield at 11 years. 

Complimenting CIASA’s sea swims are the Flowers Mile-21 years and Camana Bay Aquatic Club’s Lollipop Dash Swims-3 years, which are designed to introduce younger swimmers to the joy of the open water.

Jim Fraser, director of CIASA’s Open Water Committee, along with past CIASA boards has a reputation for producing well organized, safe events which are recognized throughout the Caribbean as being some of the best events to participate in – a legacy which all of CIASA wants, and intends, to continue and grow.

This long tradition and success of open water swimming led FINA to choose Cayman to host the November 5-9th Open Water Officiating clinics, which will be conducted by UANA (Union Americana de Natacion) Official Dennis Ryther.

The clinics are open to other countries and CIASA needs its members to take part as well; because, while it is true that Cayman hosts more open water events every year than many other places, CIASA wants and needs to increase our expertise to match our superb open water conditions. And then with our natural conditions and an increased number of qualified officials, the Cayman Islands sports tourism product will benefit from the open water swimming events which the country will be able to host.

The course is titled, “The Role of Open Water Officials and the Planning and Practical Aspects of Setting Up Open Water Events.” For more information on this course and to request registration information contact Olive Balderamos at or call 345.326.1750.
Cayman’s Technical Director Bailey Weathers and his wife Sue will be taking part in the clinics.
“This is an excellent opportunity for me to learn more about open water officiating,” said Weathers.  “I have enjoyed the CIASA Open Water swims that have taken place since I arrived in Cayman and this opportunity to learn more, and to be a part of growing Cayman’s sports tourism and hosting international open water swims here in Cayman is an exciting one.”
The benefits of open water swimming are multiple.

Swimmers are a cross section of the community from young competitive swimmers to elite swimmers; triathletes; recreational swimmers and those who just want to swim and stay fit. Swimming builds a foundation of fitness and strength, for older athletes is gentle on the joints and for others swimming is cross training and conditioning. There’s also the fun and challenge.  Like running on track, some swimmers view swimming in a pool as routine, they love the challenge of the ever-changing open water.  

Add to this the healthy life style which swimmers live and the social atmosphere with friends and family that sea swims represent and it is no wonder that sea swims are such an important part of Cayman’s sporting community.

Denny Ryther, Chairman of UANA Open Water Technical Committee for this hemisphere, has vast open water refereeing and organizing expertise.  Here as recently as June, for the Flowers Sea Swim, Ryther observed and critiqued the 1 mile, 5K and 10K events on the Monday after the Flowers Mile.  Ryther is encouraging the Cayman Islands to bid on and host big international open water events; and building a stronger base of officials – by attending the upcoming training – will enhance the strength of a bid.

Additionally the Special Olympics International is coming back to Cayman for the third time in May 2014 for its Open Water training clinic. This Special Olympic Open Water training clinic is the only one in the world, helping to prepare Caribbean Special Olympic swimmers for their 2015 World Games in LA and is a complimentary nod of recognition of Andrew Smilley’s success and Coach Penny McDowall’s expertise.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands. CIASA is the recognized Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC. For more information on CIASA .

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