The Barbados Open Water Festival has engaged Sportstats to provide the official times for all swim races at the 2018 event. Sportstats is a leading timing company contracted to time over one thousand races in 24 countries in 2018 and is affiliated with events including marathon, cycling, skiing, triathlon and swimming. Sportstats is the official time company for Ironman in North America, Rock N Roll Marathon Series and recently re-signed with Canada Running Series. The growing company, was founded in 1991 in Ottawa and prides itself with having "the best equipment in the business" and an experienced and dedicated staff. The Barbados Open Water Festival has grown with every passing year and organisers are continuously striving to provide a highly satisfying and memorable experience for all swimmers. The Barbados Open Water Festival offers races over four distances: 1.5K, 3.3K, 5K and 10K and the 7th event is scheduled for November 10-11, 2018. Swimmers of varying ages and abilities from all over the world and from the enthusiastic local swimming community take part annually. Prior to the timed races swimmers can opt to take part in practice swims as well as social dinners (Nov 7-9). To learn more, seek preferred rates at our partner hotels or enter visit our web site.
"I only did two of the ocean open water swims, but it was an absolutely magical new experience. I saw sea turtles, starfish, coral, multi-coloured fish—so much more interesting than the black line at the bottom of the pool. And the benefits of buoyancy in salt water were not lost on me either!" Andrea Douglas, MasterSwimmingCanada.ca
The FreeStyle Experience led by Canadian Olympian Katie Brambley have set their dates for their 2018 Open Water & Pool Swim Camp in Barbados - November 3-9, 2018. The group will return for a third year. The Camp is timed to occur during the Barbados Open Water Festival so that participants can have the best of both swim worlds! The week looks like this: Nine coached pool sessions, specialized swim clinics (think butterfly and starts & turns), swim-specific yoga and pilates, stretch and strength sessions, team activities (paddle boarding or surfing for example), fun social activities and the opportunity to participate in the Barbados Open Water Festival with a group of new friends and teammates. The Freestyle Experience Camp Barbados is designed for all levels of masters and open water swimmers and triathletes. The pool sessions take place at the National Aquatic Centre’s outdoor pool while open water sessions are in Carlisle Bay. Learn More or Sign up for the FreeStyle Experience here! Barbados Swim Camp!
It’s impossible not to be awe-struck by the unique and incredible accomplishments of South African, Cameron Bellamy! Breaking two world records for ocean rowing, cycling thousands of kilometres, conquering six of the seven channels (so far) of open water swimming’s Oceans 7, establishing a charity supporting childrens’ education as well as building a successful career and he is only thirty-six years old. In a few weeks Cameron will attempt his final swim in the Oceans 7: the Tsugaru Strait in Japan.
Amazingly, Cameron Bellamy is already eyeing his next challenge: a 90k swim around Barbados, the most easterly island of the Caribbean, during the month of August 2018. This feat has previously been attempted by only a handful of swimmers but none have been successful. Recently Cameron spent a couple weeks in Barbados training in the sea, meeting with local swimmers and taking stock of what will be required to complete the longest swim of his life. His early estimate is for a 36 to 40 hour timeline to complete the swim. Pictured after a 14 hour training swim in Barbados.
While the south-west and west coasts of Barbados offer ideal swimming conditions the south east, east and north coasts face the Atlantic and the rugged coastline is often pummelled by waves and strong unpredictable undercurrents are known to exist. Additionally, many of Cameron's swims have been in cold water but Cameron is confident that he will adjust easily to the warmer waters as he says "its much easier to move from cold to warm!". During his last few days on the island Cameron completed two 14 hour training swims with less than 12 hours between the end of one and the start of the second. After each one he emerged from the water smiling and looking remarkably well! He enjoyed his swimming in Barbados commenting that many of his swims are in dark, cold water but he felt as if he were in an aquarium in the warmer Barbados waters, sighting many turtles, tropical fish and beautiful corals during his swims.
What must be perplexing to many in the swim world is that Cameron was never a swimmer growing up. In 2011, after founding a charity known as the Ubunye Challenge, which raises money through endurance adventures, he decided he would learn to swim and make an attempt to swim the English Channel. He completed the 35K Channel Swim on July 5, 2012. Earlier in 2012 he had completed a 1500 km cycle in 7 days, a second cycling adventure for him as he already had a 6500 km solo bicycle journey (2009) under his belt: from Beijing to the southernmost tip of India.
Another truly outstanding feat was accomplished in 2014, when he completed his epic Indian Ocean rowing expedition, as part of a team of seven who rowed from Geraldton, Australia to the Seychelles. Cameron had been a passionate flat-water rower at high school and university and represented South Africa at the World U23 Rowing Championships (2003) and World Student Games (2004). During the Indian Ocean crossing the team survived 50-foot waves during the tail end of a hurricane, almost being run over by an oil tanker, a collision with a blue whale and interaction with West African pirates, amongst other adventures during their 57 day, 6270 km journey.
His endeavours continued through 2015-2018 with the ongoing pursuit of the Oceans 7 which consists of seven long-distance open-water swims, and is considered the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. It includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar. Creator, Steve Munatones: considers the Ocean 7 the “highest and most difficult echelon of marathon swimming”. Only ten swimmers have completed this challenge since it was first proposed in 2008.
Friends describe Cameron Bellamy as a "genuinely nice guy" and work colleague Steve Walker says "Cam's swimming and business accomplishments pale in comparison to what he has been doing in South Africa" through his charity work. Says Kevin Jennings, Board Chair of the Ubunye Challenge: “Cam is the "real deal": a person genuinely committed to trying to help those less fortunate than himself. Thanks to his vision and determination, Ubunye has grown to a point where hundreds of children in the Eastern Cape are getting early childhood education they would have stood no chance of getting if not for Ubunye. It is highly unusual for a young person to have already had such an impact on so many lives.”
Those who recently met this "real life super hero" in Barbados can attest to his friendly and modest nature and the small but passionate open water swimming community is already buzzing with excitement about Cameron's visit and plans to swim around the island. #SwimAroundBarbados
Cameron Bellamy's first six Ocean 7 crossings:
The Cook Strait
Description: A swim between the South andNorth Islands of New Zealand, known for its cold water and volatile weather. 15% of attempts encounter sharks. Date: 11 March 2018 Distance: 32km Duration:12 hours 43 minutes
The Molokai Channel
Description: A swim between the islands of Molokai and Oahu in Hawaii. Known for its big seas, long distance, and myriad species of poisonous jelly fish. Date: 15 February 2017 Length: 46 km Duration:17 hours 6 minutes
The North Channel
Description: A swim between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Known for being the hardest of the Oceans 7 swims.
It is frigidly cold, with temperatures of 10 –12 degrees C. Most attempts encounter swarms of deadly jellyfish.
Date: 14 July 2016 Length: 35km Duration: 12 hours 13 minutes
The Catalina Channel
Description: A swim between Catalina Island and Los Angeles, known for its strong currents and marine life.
Date: 7 November 2015 Length: 35km Duration: 11 hours 52 minutes
The Strait of Gibraltar
Description: An iconic swim between Europe (Tarifa, Spain) and Africa (somewhere on the Moroccan coast)
Date: 8 April 2015 Length: 20km Duration: 4 hours 1minute
The English Channel
Description: Between England and France. The swim is known for its cold water and variable conditions.
Date: 5 July 2012 Length: 35km Duration: 16 hours 29 minutes
Much of the information contained in this article including times and distances swam on channel crossings was received from Cameron Bellamy, his team and work colleagues. For more information about the The Ubunye Challenge visit their Website: www.ubunyechallenge.com . Read more about Cameron's epic Indian ocean crossing here: https://www.nightjartravel.com/magazine/cameron-bellamy-and-his-magnificent-indian-ocean-crossing
Barbados Open Water Festival announces a new partnership with ANSA Rentals for the 2018 event. The leading car rental company, a local partner of the well-known brands: Europcar and Advantage, has also offered visiting swimmers a special deal which will go a long way in enhancing their "swimcation sightseeing". Kristina Evelyn, a Director of the growing local Festival was very pleased that the company has come forward to support the locally-owned yet globally recognized event. She noted that the 2017 event had attracted 625 entries with about 80% of the entries being foreign swimmers and the 7th BOWF scheduled for Nov 7-11, 2018 had been receiving online entries since February 2018. "We commend ANSA Rentals for joining with us and supporting this healthy lifestyle event that is playing a role not only in community building on the island but helping to enhance Barbados tourism. "
SPECIAL OFFER FOR SWIMMERS BOWF 2018: Book any ANSA Rentals car for 5 days over the Festival and get 2 days free PLUS 2 complimentary beach towels! To take advantage of the special Festival rate, contact Tana or Leah via Reservations & Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote BOWFAR
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017 Daily News of Open Water Swimming 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 transitionas they both emerged from the water and then raced up the beach to the finish. Barbados’ Olympic triathlete Jason Wilsontried 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.
Kristina Evelyn - Barbadian & Festival organizer. Enjoys promoting open water swimming in Barbados & meeting open water swimmers from all over the world.