Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre was a blaze from April 5 – 10th as they hosted the 19th Annual RHAC Invitational under the theme “Friendship through Competition”. This annual event brings together not only local swim clubs but teams from all over the region including Carriacou, Martinique, Trinidad, Barbados, St Vincent and Antiqua. This year there were 22 teams with 300 registered swimmers.
With Carifta Swimming Championships, Commonwealth Games and some regional countries still building after the hurricane season, Meet Director Dr Diane Worrell was impressed with the turnout and camaraderie.
Final results placed Sea Jays Swim Club (St Lucia) in first place with a total of 824 points. Marlins Swim Club (Trinidad) followed with 574 points and Sharks Swim Club (St Lucia) rounded out the top 3 with 515 points. This year there were 88 meet event records set! The most in the last few years! Also Jayhan Odlum Smith, coming back from Carifta, set 3 National Records in 800 Meter Free in a time of 9:15.91, 200 Meter Fly in a time of 2:19.24 and 400 Individual Medley in a time of 5:05.61. All impressive considering the amount of swimming he accomplished in the days before!
Also noteworthy was the Marlins Swim Club with just 9 swimmers being able to finish 2nd in the meet with Local Clubs taking the 1st and 3rd positions. A total of 88 meet records were broken this year. This is a testament of the quality of this meet and growth of swimming in our region as many of the swimmers who swim in this meet go on to represent their countries at Carifta
The meet concluded on the 8th with an exciting Sprint Challenge where the top 8 swimmers, male and female, in the age groups 8 & Under, 9 – 12, and 13 – Over swam a 50 Freestyle with the top 4 going on the swim a 25 Freestyle from a push off to finish on the pads in a fast conclusion to the meet. Winners were:
8 & Under Girls : Heidi Stoute Pirates, Barbados in time 17.40.
8 & Under Boys : Rylan Thomas Marlins, Trinidad in time 17.74.
9 – 12 Girls : Naekeisha Louis LA, St. Lucia in time 14.52 which broke the record held by Naima Hazel of 14.56.
9 – 12 Boys: Zachary Anthony Marlins, Trinidad in time 15.04
13 & Over Girls: Mikaili Charlemagne Sharks, St. Lucia in time 14.31
13 & Over Boys: Omar Alexander SJ’s, St. Lucia in time 12.43 which broke the record held by Jonathan Constatine of 12.55.
For the second year, RHAC Invitational included an Open Water portion held at St Lucia Yacht Club Monday, April 9th. Participants took to the sea for 500M, 1000M, 3000M, and 5000M events. With a total of 60 swimmers registered, the most popular event was the 1000M (1K) which had approximately 25 swimmers entered. The most astonishing finish was Zachary Anthony (10) from Marlins Swim Club who completed the 3K Mixed Open first in a time of
The facility underwent a major renovation to the pool just one month prior to the event which had all on their toes to ensure it was up and running for this exciting event.
Special recognition goes out to our Champion’s Sponsor TOGS, the Oliver Gobat Sports Fund. TOGS came on as an early sponsor and helped raise the level of our meet. Silver Sponsors include: FLOW and Winners TV who ensured we were broadcast live to all the territories. Bronze Sponsors Included: M & C Group of Companies, Baywalk Mall, Diamonds International, St. Lucia Yacht Club, Harry Edwards Jewelers, Massy Group and Scotiabank.
Our other sponsors were: Barbay Ltd., Bay Gardens Resorts, Caribbean Awnings, BOSL, Beachcomber Ltd., West Indies Shipping, Dominoes Pizza, FDL Consultants Ltd., Felly Belly, Cream & Bean, FLEVA, IGY Marina, JE Bergasse, Yamaha and La Place Salaizon.
Thanks to all the officials and timers who came out to assist especially:
Referees Edith Clashing (Antigua) and Francis Sampson (Trinidad). Computer and MM Technical Officials, Antionette Desrivieres and Sue Dyson.
Officials Coordinator was Lily Bergasse and Chief Timer, John Bruce.
Without the RHAC Staff and Support Staff including Virginia Paul and her team of Chefs, Lennox Alexander Joseph (general contractor), Francis Junior Placid (plumber) and Jonah Robinson (Electrician) we could not have made it possible.
We are looking forward to inviting all to St. Lucia in 2019 when we celebrate the 20th Annual RHAC Invitational.