Distance runner Patrick Harfield and Canadian Olympic swimmer Stephanie Horner topped the podiums of their respective sports as three athletics competitions took center stage in this weekend’s Pirates Week festivities. The annual celebration featured both a 5k and a 10k run, along with the 5k Annual Sea Swim.
On Friday, Harfield won the 5k with a time of 17:13. Sam Kepford and Juan Pablo Valerio both finished with a time of 17:58 for second and third. On Sunday, Harfield added to his trophy case with another win, this time in the 10k with a time of 35:54. Tim Schuler placed 2nd (39:07) while Valerio claimed his second top 3 finish of the weekend, finishing third with a time of 40:19.
Saturday afternoon, 37 swimmers hit the water at Governor’s Beach for the 37th Annual Pirates Week 5k Open Water Sea Swim. Horner clocked in at a blazing time of 58:14, the fastest time since 2014 (Sean Ryan 58:21). Cayman’s John Bodden swam to second at 1:03:55, with Liam Henry (3rd, 1.04.18), Alex Dacers (4th, 1.04.41) followed by Jordan Crooks and Zachary Moore not far behind.
Afterwards, Horner said the nature of the race made for a good challenge.
“Every race is different, you have different water conditions, sometimes it’s more wavy than others. When it comes to open water it’s all about positioning yourself, it’s about strategy. You always have to adapt, because you never know what’s going to happen, and whose going to make a move when.
Technical Director, Bailey Weathers, explained why CIASA hosts international swimmers. “In addition to supporting our sponsors by providing a wider audience to Cayman swimming, swimmers like Stephanie Horner really engage with our younger athletes. They provide strong role models and help keep our swimmers motivated.” He added “with Stephanie’s experience, she is able to share the bigger picture and what it takes to get there.” Horner and Weathers conducted Open Water clinics for CIASA members the day before the main event with a focus on turns and passing for experienced swimmers and safety and starts for swimmers who were new to open water competitions.
CIASA President, Michael Lockwood stated, “I would like to acknowledge the swimmers who competed in this event and distance for the very first time. Well done on your achievement of this challenging distance.”