Two weeks removed from representing Antigua and Barbuda at the OECS regional championships in Barbados, eighteen year-old Noah Mascoll-Gomes and fifteen year-old Bianca Mitchell are the top male and female open water swimmers respectively.
They did so after taming a field of 63 swimmers over the weekend at the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation’s (ABSF) National Open Water Championships this past Sunday at historic Fort James Beach.
Mascoll-Gomes captured the 5k crown in a time of 1 hour 3 minutes and 47.6 seconds (1:03:47.6) swimming a pace of 12.45 minutes per kilometer. While, Mitchell claimed her title in a time of 1:15:44.2 swimming at a pace of 15.09 minutes per kilometer in the same event.
Other top performers over the weekend saw 14 year-old Sebastian Gobinet (34:19.3) and 11 year-old Angelique Gittens (41:18.7) besting their fellow 2.6k competitors to claim the overall title in that event.
The shortest distance on the day – the 1.4 kilometer swim – had, by far, the most competitors in the event (36). Brandon Derrick, 14, bested the males in a time of 17:31 swimming the day’s best pace of 12.31 minutes per kilometer. While Olivia Fuller, 13, topped the females in a time of 19:00. Fuller also had the best pace of the day for the females at 13.34 minutes per kilometer.
The ABSF’s Technical Director Edith Clashing said of the open water competitors that, “they all put out their best and put on a great show for all the spectators on the beach.”
“In an event like this, we are primarily concerned about the athletes safely. We had 63 people go into the water and 63 came out,” the technical director continued.
The youngest swimmer on the day was 7 year-old Espirit Shaw who placed 2nd in his age group (0-8) and 18th overall in the 1.4k event. The oldest swimmer at the championships was 78 year-old Peter Hunt who completed the 1.4k event in a time of 47:03.4 while placing 3rd in his category (45 and over) and 19th overall.
Hunt competed against 53 year-old Paul Eldridge (28:37.5) who placed 1st and 53-year Barney Dennen (31:58.0) who placed second in the class.
The association wishes to thank the corporate sponsors: Oasis Water (Premier Beverages) A & B Olympic Office, FLOW, Ana’ s on the Beach, Papa Zouk, Garden Grill, Hemingways Cafe, Beach Limerz, The Larder, Sandals Grande Antigua and SUP Antigua.
It also extends thanks to the support services: ABSAR, the Coast Guard, the National Lifeguards, Red Cross, EMS, the Royal Police Force, Sailing Week Committee, boat owner-volunteers and all our volunteers who made the event possible.
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