The freedom and excitement of open water swimming continue to draw the young and the more mature to the open waters and the fastest growing sport in the world today!
Our 2013 events are now complete! NEXT EVENT WILL BE LATE OCTOBER OR EARLY NOVEMBER 2014, DATE TO BE CONFIRMED.
The second event for 2013 took place Sunday October 27. The top performers in the October swim events were Christian Marsden of Trinidad, Barbadian Alexis Clarke, Ryan Williams of the US and Erica Moffett, also of the US. These four swimmers claimed victory in the 5k Men & Ladies and 1.5 k Men and Ladies open water swim races respectively. PHOTOS FOR OCTOBER EVENT COMING SOON.
See coverage of our October event in H2Open Magazine through link below:
See article submitted to H2Open by UK swimmer, Jim Egan.
Conditions were relatively good in the spectacular Carlisle Bay considering the severe weather conditions experienced two days before the event. Currents were slightly stronger than normal in the usually placid Bay, perhaps a remnant of the weather system in the area. Swimmers attended from several states across the US as well as the UK, Columbia, Canada, Venezuela, Finland and Trinidad. 150 swimmers, varying in age from 6 years old to 83 years old, faced the starter in brilliant sunshine at 9 am in front of the Copacabana Beach Bar. The swimmers swam a loop between the Boatyard Pier and Esplanade.
Visiting swimmers thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were amazed by the “numerous sea turtles seen, the wide variety of beautiful sea life and the crystal water”. One swimmer noted that he was “trying to race but being surrounded by the turtles and fish was just incredible and also very distracting!” The three swim events included a 1.5km and 5km races as well as a “Just for Fun” 1.5km where swimmers were allowed swim aids and no times were recorded. The organizers were thrilled to have special guest, Mr. Chris Smith, Past President of Masters Swimming Canada, among many other accolades, attend the swim to observe and provide feedback.
The July 2013 event attracted 110 swimmers, 80 kayakers, 50 paddlers and 30 water polo players. The weather was perfect! The water was crystal clear and placid. See photos of the activities in the photo section. Swimmers from 12 countries including Venezuela, Columbia, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, St Vincent, Trinidad, England, Ireland and Barbados participated in the 1.5km and 5km swims. A true mix of swimmers including Olympians, an English Channel solo swimmer, a Lake Ontario swimmer, national Triathletes, local Masters club and "just for fun" swimmers! Males and females ranging in age from 8 years old to 69 years old. After the swims participants were delighted with the great prizes from the many generous sponsors. Just for entering swimmers received a swim cap, free t-shirt and a $100 dining certiificate at one of the islands leading fine dining restaurants. Winners in many age categories received hotel stays, dining vouchers, airline tickets, smartphones, day cruises, spa treatments, pottery, tickets to island attractions, Barbados rum, t-shirts, hats and more. The action was nonstop all day after the swimming with keenly contested and very exciting relay races in kayaks and on stand up paddle boards. Many spectators gathered on the beach and enjoyed the events thoroughly. Other entertainment included dj music, a fun fitness challenge by the islands hottest cross fit gym as well as "Turtle Talk" and a fun quiz by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project volunteers. The day ended with the National water polo team displaying their skill with a water polo match in the sea.
The events will take place in the beautiful Carlisle Bay, pictured above.
The favoured location for open water swimmers is Carlisle Bay, a magnificent, yet tranquil, crescent shaped bay located off the south-west region of the island. The Bay is bordered by one mile of white sand beach stretching from the Pebbles Beach all the way to Bridgetown, the capital city. Recently, Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of JCB, said of Carlisle Bay, “Its one of the most beautiful beaches in the world”. Sir Anthony has been coming to Barbados for over 50 years and his family has owned a property here since the 1970’s. The historic bay was named after the “Earl of Carlisle”, Lord Proprietor of the British West Indies colonies in the 1600’s. Carlisle Bay was once a port for large ships and was visited by many famous British Admirals such as Admiral Nelson and General Ayscue. The Bay now lies in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site: “Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison”, an honour bestowed on Barbados in 2011.
Not only is the Bay one of the most picturesque areas on the island, it is also home to a Marine Park and four beaches inclusive of Needhams Point, Pebbles Beach, Browne’s Beach and Adventure Beach. It is a vast area of mostly placid and clear waters with no undertow and is excellent for photos, relaxing on the beach and swimming. The Bay provides safe haven for the yachts moored there and the proliferation of tropical fish, turtles and plant life that enjoy the protection of this “marine park”. Snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities abound especially at any of the six wrecks that sunk between 1917 and 1996. On an open water swim here it is quite common to run into a friendly turtle or catch sight of a sea horse, octopus or colourful school of fish.
The Events are being organised by a group of local Veteran Swimmers who have a passion for open water swimming and look forward to sharing the experience of sea swimming in Barbados with swimmers from across the globe. It is their intention to host these Festivals annually and they have formed the business known as "SwimBarbadosVacations" for this purpose. Visit our organisers and sponsors page to see Bios of organisers and the generous sponsors who are supporting this new venture. The Event is sanctioned by the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association and supported by the Tourism Development Corporation.
We welcome swimmers and tri-athletes of all ability levels from recreational to elite as well as lovers of SUP, kayak, water polo and spectators. In addition to excellent swimming conditions Barbados has a variety of exciting attractions; bring spouses, partners, kids and friends.
Swim Barbados Vacations has partnered with several hotels near to the swim venue and in varying price categories to suit all budgets. Our partner hotels can be accessed through our site. Don't hesitate to email us with any questions about the events, hotels or any general questions about Barbados.
Come for the Open Water Festival and stay with us for awhile!