How long does it take to swim 2 miles in open water? For some, it’s only 30 minutes and others it takes 2 hours. No matter what the time is, swimming the BASRA marathon is an admirable effort. Swimmers of all ages and levels look forward to this challenge each summer and they will take to the water this Saturday at 10 a.m.
You can watch them start from the Jetty in front of Our Lucaya and finish just past the Coral Beach Hotel. If you are a fan, you can walk all along the way and watch them swim (and get a workout on the beach yourself!).
For some swimmers, just completing the race is enough. For others, the competition is heated. There are youngsters such as John Bradley, who is proving to be a swimming superstar for the Bahamas. He will be defending his BASRA 2006 title. John recently finished 6th, presenting the Bahamas in the CCCAN Championships Five kilometer Open Water Swim in El Salvador. There are other young competitors who are seeking to fight for the title or move up the ranks by improving their times from previous years. One young person to watch is Evante Gibson, who has been impressing everyone with his times this year. Expect to see him out in front with the fastest swimmers. Several young women have been gaining strength this swim season and it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the guys. We look for last year’s female winner, Jenna Chaplin, from Nassau to be leading the pack also.Then there are the more “seasoned” veterans, those who always swim the BASRA marathon and compete among themselves to see who has the bragging rights this year. Look for Robbie Butler, always a contender for a medal, compete with other well known locals such as Godfrey Waugh, Joe Thompson, Kirk Antoni, Fred Smith, and Craig Stewart, among others. Several swimmers will be coming from abroad. Mario Carey, from Nassau, a winner many years ago, will be returning to Freeport to swim this year. Keeno Rutherford is coming from California. A special treat will be the return of Harriet Lynch and her daughter Bahama. Harriet was one of the founders of the BASRA marathon race and is a well known name in the local swimming community.
The finish line for the race is just west of Coral Beach and is a fun place to gather to cheer the tired swimmers as they come out of the water. Then it’s time to party!
There will be lots of food, including hamburgers and hotdogs, along with soft drinks and a full bar. BASRA T-shirts, hats and other clothing will be available for sale, along with the soon-to-be-famous bikini calendar, which will make its debut at the Beach Party. It is the only time and place to buy the calendar until September.
Since this is a fundraiser for BASRA, all partiers are encouraged to support this worthy organization by purchasing food and drink. “Please don’t bring your cooler full of beer,” says one organizer. “That defeats the purpose of the beach party. We are raising money through the sale of drinks and food, so we need you to bring your cash and buy tickets for all the refreshments!”
The Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association is a dedicated non-profit volunteer organization committed to saving the lives of distressed seamen or airmen in the Bahamas. They are supported only by private donations and therefore require your support through their fundraising projects. Aside from the costs of their daily operations and rescue efforts, they are seeking to purchase modern lifesaving equipment like defibrillators. In addition, they are looking to the future where they can have a permanent waterfront base of operations with their own building, on Grand Bahama.
To dowload the registration form, go to www.basragrandbahama.com. Registration takes place at 6pm at the Coral Beach Hotel pool deck. On Saturday morning all swimmers must report to the Coral Beach Pool Deck to receive their numbers between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. All swimmers must then proceed to the beach in the front of Our Lucaya Hotel near the Jetty where the race will start at 10:00 a.m.
Come out on Saturday August 18th to Coral Beach to swim, cheer on the swimmers and have a great time at the beach party!