Bahamians compete in CARIFTA open water swim

|Sports|Bahamians compete in CARIFTA open water swimSports

Simba FrenchSend an emailApril 13, 2023 686 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 From left, Layla Saidi, Aiden Bain and Caellum Darville represented The Bahamas in the open water swimming segment of the 2023 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships at Caracasbaai, Curaçao.

One day after The Bahamas won the swimming portion of the 2023 CARIFTA Aquatics Championships, three swimmers were at Caracasbaai, Curaçao, for the open water event on Monday, April 10.

Competing for The Bahamas were first-time CARIFTA open water swimmers Caellum Darville, Layla Saidi and Aiden Bain.

It was the first time that The Bahamas had open water swimmers since 2019. They skipped last year. Head coach for The Bahamas’ open water team Travano McPhee said he was happy with the team’s performance.

“I was very pleased with the open water swimmers’ performance,” McPhee said. “The three swimmers represented the country well on the last day of competition in Curaçao.”

Saidi was the first swimmer in the water and she competed in the 16-18 girls division. She swam the 5K (five kilometer) distance race, finishing fifth overall with a time of 1:18.31.

“I felt that it went well,” Saidi said. “I am really happy with the result. It was very challenging physically and mentally. I stayed engaged throughout the entire race. I gave it my all.”

Bain swam in the 14-15 boys division but did not finish the course in the allotted time. He said he was not happy with his performance.

“The race was amazing, but very tiring,” Bain said. “The course was awesome but the entry into the water wasn’t fun at all – those rocks really bruised up my feet. The best of the course is where it took place – the scenery. It was the most beautiful thing with the deep blue waters and the high mountains.”

Darville did not finish the race. He said despite the lengthy course, he tried to enjoy it.

“I definitely need to work on my pacing to make sure that I can stay consistent throughout my entire race,” Darville said. “The CARIFTA experience was truly something I will never forget. Being able to meet new people and bond with them over a four-day period surely helped me to build some friendships that will last for quite a while.”

Bain, who hails from Grand Bahama, enjoyed the CARIFTA experience, being with teammates, coaches, chaperones, physical therapists and the team manager. He said he is looking forward to next year’s open water event. It will be held here in The Bahamas as a part of the 36th  CARIFTA Swimming Championships.

“For next year, I’ll work on my pace as it was slow but I think it was my fault on that part,” Bain said. “At the start of the race, everybody went out hard and gradually got into their pace, but I went straight into my pace instead of trying to stay in the pack and then going into my pace.”

All three swimmers are looking at competing in next year’s open water swim competition. McPhee said they are hoping to host more open water competitions leading up to CARIFTA 2024.

“It will allow more swimmers an opportunity to qualify and represent the country at home at the 2024 CARIFTA Swimming Championships,” McPhee said. “Open water is becoming a popular event for swimmers and hopefully next year we will see medals won in this event.”

The Bahamas is set to host the 36th edition of the CARIFTA Swimming Championships in 2024.

Start a Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *