The Guest of Honor at the event was Cameron Bellamy, who created history when he swam around the island last November. Cameron is currently in Barbados training towards his planned Cuba to Florida swim attempt in September. Cameron formed an association with Variety Club during his many visits ahead of the Swim Around Barbados and his charity: Ubunye Challenge donated funds to the Variety Club in the end of 2018. On the weekend young swimmers were thrilled with his presence as he started the swim race, then jumped in a kayak to monitor the swimmers on the course and handed out prizes to the winning teams. Much to the delight of spectators he then joined the “Coral Crew” kayak team comprised of several open water swimmers and contributed to their third place position with an epic finish.
Kudos to the many local companies who sponsored teams in the swim and kayak races. It’s a significant day on the Bajan “healthy lifestyle” calendar with many kayak teams practicing together in the weeks leading up to the event. The iMart teams once again won both their Swim Relay and Kayak Relay races and managed to hold on to the Challenge Trophy for the 4th year in a row. The Maria Holder Memorial Trust Team, who came first in the Royal Rowers Race, has promised to end iMart’s reign in 2020.
On the swim side the 400 m course allowed many young open water swimmers the opportunity to experience an open water swimming race on a relatively short course. Local sea swimming club Saltwater Swimmers had a huge contingent for the swim relays. Their large numbers earned them the “Heart of Variety” prize. For the second year running they entered the most teams in the Variety Swim Relay with a whopping eighteen four member teams.
Well done to all swimmers, kayakers, spectators, sponsors and volunteers for supporting this very worthy cause. The importance of the incredible work done by the Variety Club in Barbados cannot be overstated.
The Fun Swim takes place during the annual festival and will be held on November 9th in 2019. Learn more about BOWF here: BOWF website