Pan Am Medallist and three-time Olympian, Stephanie Horner, battled through a thunderstorm to claim victory in the 1.5k and 10k races at the 2019 Barbados Open Water Festival, last weekend.
The 30-year-old Canadian swimmer completed the 1.5k race in 17 minutes and 19 seconds in challenging conditions, with compatriots Kenna Smallegange and Madison Archer claiming second and third place respectively. In the 10k race, the three spots on the podium were again claimed by Canadians, with Horner winning in two hours, two minutes and 27 seconds, Smallegange claiming second place and Mia Desjarlais taking third.
As expected, the Canadian team, led by National Open Water Coach, Mark Perry, had much success in the other races they entered. Eric Brown won the Men’s 1.5K, Catherine Minic took the Women’s 5k and Drew Edwards won the Men’s 10k marathon swim. Elsewhere, Ashley Hogg of the UK was able to break through the Canadian’s dominance by winning the Men’s 5k race and Barbados’ Adara Stoddard also claimed victory in the women’s 3.3k race.
After what has been described as a ‘landmark year’ for open water swimming in Barbados, with the Barbados Aquatic Sports Association (BASA) successfully hosting two major regional meets and Cameron Bellamy achieving an unprecedented 151k swim from Barbados to St Lucia, the island was well represented in all races including several age group placings.
The future looks bright for Barbados’ young swimmers, with 31 swimmers from the nation taking part in the under-12 1.5k race and many other young swimmers taking part in the Fun Swim.
The 2020 Barbados Open Water Festival has been scheduled for 4-8 November next year.