New champion to take Duffy’s title
At least one new national champion will be crowned at the Open Water Bermuda National Championships, taking place tomorrow.
Still in its relative infancy, starting out five years ago, the event is expected to attract more than 70 competitors to the waters of Clearwater Beach and Turtle Beach in St David's, to compete in three separate distances including 5,000m, 1,500m and 400m.
Awards will be handed out for respective male and female age-group categories.
Among the awards, one competitor will be able to clinch the accolade of taking none other than Flora Duffy's 1,500m title, with the double World Triathlon Series World Champion not on island to defend her crown.
“Even though it is known as the national champions, for many local swimmers it is a warm-up event for the upcoming Round the Sound event next month,” said event organiser and former Olympic swimmer Mike Cash, who spoke of the benefits of getting involved in the event as an introduction to open-water swimming.
“We only started out five years ago and so we're still growing, where as the Round the Sound started almost 30 years ago and we already have 400 competitors signed up including 200 from overseas.
“Last year, Flora Duffy was still on island and so she competed and won the 1.5km distance, she won't be competing this year so her title is up for grabs.
“The youngest competitor signed up this year is eight years old and so we see the event as a great way to introduce people into open water swimming.
“A lot of swimmers who are part of clubs will stick strictly to the pool, but I always try and encourage swimmers to cross train between the pool and open water because I believe it is beneficial.
“It is also great for any aspiring triathletes to get a taste of open-water swimming and really boost that discipline in the process.”