April 21, 2015
Halbich brothers top Bequia Swim Race

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Swimming Federation teamed up with the Bequia Swim Club to host a 750-metre swim race, as part of the Easter Regatta festivities. The swim race took place between Plantation House and Gingerbread Hotel on Good Friday. There were 19 participants.{{more}} In first place was Cruz Halbich of Black Sands Swim Squad, with a time of 9:36 minutes; his brother Storm Halbich (celebrating his birthday that day) was next in second place with 10:53. The third place was secured by the top Bequia swimmer Tyrell Raguette, with a time of 11:06. In fourth place was Dillon Gooding with 11:44.

The Bequia Swim Club is a product of the grassroots swimming programme run by the Federation, sponsored by the Mustique Charitable Trust and Hope Perelman. The Club has had much support from Action Bequia, Moonhole homeowners, Wendy Leighton and many other donors.

The Bequia Swim Club was founded by coach Kara Randall and coordinator of the Grassroots Programme of the Federation Louise Mitchell Joseph, and now has five swim coaches from the island of Bequia and 30 swimmers. These coaches, together with coaches from Owia and Sion Hill, were recently the beneficiaries of training by FINA coach Dave Farmer, who was invited by the Federation to conduct a coaching clinic in St Vincent and the Grenadines. As part of that clinic, Farmer visited Bequia and gave much advice on the development of an open water programme there.

Minister of Sports Cecil McKie was in Bequia and was so impressed by the swim race, that he convened an impromptu meeting with all coaches and organizers and has pledged to work with the Bequia Swim Club to support a three to five year plan.