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November 19, 2018

Bermuda Masters Swimming Association | 1609m Sea Venture Swim | 2012 Schedule | LATYCAR 2003 | LATYCAR 2005 | Waterspout | Masters Swimming Etiquette | Training Information | RTI 2006 | Links |

1609m Sea Venture Swim

BMSA 1609 metre Sea Venture Swim - 11 July 2009

Despite some ominous clouds and a strong South Westerly wind blowing on the day the conditions turned out to be perfect as the one mile ocean swim was fortunately in the lee of the island. 38 swimmers boarded Tim Patton's barge on St. Catherine's beach and thanks to the guidance of Philippe Rouja, Curator of Wrecks, they were ferried out and dropped directly over the wreck of the Sea Venture. While treading water over a reef one mile offshore at the swim start a few swimmers were entertained by several reef fish that came out to investigate the commotion on the surface. The race soon started though and swimmers kicked hard, picked their lines, put their heads down and started stroking their way back to the beach in St. Catherine's Bay.

Marine Police and a pilot rescue boat lent their support to the 3 other support boats and the safety paddle boarder shepherding the swimmers to the finish. There was a mild current while crossing the channel but luckily it was pulling towards Fort St. Catherine's and not out into the deep. The event was carefully timed to hit the hight tide when currents would be weakest and in the right direction, at mid-tide there can be a 3 knot current flowing in either direction through the Narrows.

John Legge, 10km Round the Sound winner in 2006 & 2008, was the comfortable winner in 20:50 despite having just returned from a gruelling Ironman Germany 6 days earlier where he was top 20 out of the water in a field of over 2000 triathletes over the 2.4 mile swim course.

Kevin Insley, 10 time 10km Round the Sound winner and former team GB swimmer took second place in 21:07.

And Peter Hallatt, a British triathlete new to the island, rounded out the top 3 in a time of 21:11. Peter was incidentally also 3rd in the Aon National Triathlon Championships the previous weekend.

After the event I chatted to two east end commercial fisherman who showed up and voluntarily acted as a support boat for the swimmers at the rear of the pack. They told me "We thought we should keep a close eye on them. You don't want to know what we catch out there in the channel...!". Several emails followed on Monday morning asking about the truth to stories of Tiger sharks following cruise ships into the channel. I asked then if they had seen any as I hadn't.

I had to refute claims by some of the swimmers that the route was long as I had measured it with an electronic map of Bermuda and it was coincidentally 1609 metres (or 1 mile) in length. 1609 being the very year that the Sea Venture had been run aground by Sir George Somers on July 28. I asked them if they would prefer a more true re-enactment of Bermuda's first settlers landing on our shores amidst a hurricane, instead they chose to blame their times on the current....

Thanks to all who took part and lent their support. What better way for a swimmer to celebrate Bermuda's 400th anniversary of continous settlement than to retrace the route of Bermuda's first settlers' journey ashore, although I don't think many of them could swim back then!

- Nick Strong


1 John Legge 20:50
2 Kevin Insley 21:07
3 Peter Hallat 21:11
4 Nick Strong 21:12
5 Benedict Parfit 22:21
6 Christian Parfit 23:09
7 Paul Viney 23:20
8 Paul DeGiulio 23:54
9 Caroline Wright 24:19
10 Ian Maule 24:27
11 Andrew Davis 25:09
12 Jason Hansford-Smith 25:23
13 Tony Hall 25:26
14 Karen Madeiros 25:50
15 Kavin Smith 26:00
16 Jessica Marwick 27:02
17 James Keyes 27:41
18 Geoff Gardner 27:43
19 Jeff Conyers 28:06
20 Russell Burgess 28:20
21 Ben Wright 28:38
22 Taryn Pringle 28:54
23 Christine Patton 29:03
24 Liz Pittoni 29:06
25 Adam Hopkin 29:26
26 Jo Bright 29:48
27 Chris Brown 29:59
28 Gilbert Darrell* / John Thompson* 30:02
30 Craig Rothwell 30:16
31 Tats Hoshina 31:00
32 John Tomlinson 31:13
33 Martin Kenny 31:57
34 Matt Spencer 32:31
35 Sarah Johnson 33:37
36 Terry Ward 43:33
37 Helen Parfit 44:05
38 Dawn Johnson 47:58