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Open water fest attracts world champ


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When the whistle blows to signal the start of the 2014 Swim the Bay event on November 2 in Carlisle Bay, a world champion will be in the mix.

Alex Meyer, 2010 World 25K swimming champion, and current US national 5K king will be competing in the third Swim the Bay, following two in 2013 that attracted hundreds of swimmers from across the globe and received excellent international media coverage.

This year’s Open Water Festival has a multitude of local and international swimmers of varying ages and abilities registered to compete in the 1.5K and 5K races.

After a successful pool swimming collegiate career at Harvard University, Meyer switched his career focus to open water swimming.

In addition to his world championship title, notable accomplishments include the 2011 and 2013 USA Swimming National 10K titles and the 2014 US National 5K title.

While on the island, Meyer will also host an open water swim clinic.

Barbados will also welcome a Junior World Championship title holder to the event, as American Taylor Abbott will swim the 5K race.

Abbott recently won the Boys 14-16 (5K) FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in Hungary.

With the entry of Meyer and Abbott, both world-class swimmers, as well as Ian Bidwell, Jack Collins and William Powers of New York’s Badger Swim Club, last year’s winner of the Men’s 5K, Christian Marsden of Trinidad, will face stiff opposition.

On the women’s side, 16-year old local national swimmer, Alexis Clarke will be looking to retain the 5K title she won in 2013. With accomplished US swimmers Lindsay Vrooman and Anina Lund in the line-up Clarke will have a battle on her hands.

Well-known former professional triathlete, masters swimmer and open water champion Eney Jones from the United States will also compete in the 5K race.

The inaugural Jonathan Morgan Memorial Trophy will be presented to the top local masters finisher in the 5K race.

At this stage it’s difficult to predict the outcome in the 1.5K race but with 16 year old Canadian Alyssa Mundy, Barbados’ top triathletes and several Barbadian and Trinidadian national junior swimmers, keen competition is expected.

Barbadian masters swimmers are well represented in both races with well-known swimmers John Mike Peterkin, Geoffrey Farmer, Rick Peters, Geoffrey King, Chris Gibbs, Peter Gibbs, Andrew Kirby, Alison Pile, Christine Choy and many more all signed up. (BA/PR)​