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In Front of FLAMINGO CAFE, Grace Bay Beach Access between Club Med and Ocean Club East
race for the conch tci swim federation

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2014 News


Perfect swimming conditions and a new 1/2 mile race added to the 2.4 mile and 1 mile events made for a superb 5th edition of the Turks & Caicos "Race for the Conch" Eco--SeaSwim that saw a record number (120) of participants. Most of the swimmers from US and Canada were returnees who planned their vacations around the event. Some were returning for the 5th time! The race also saw many new Provo residents taking part.

Defending 1 mile champs Dan Redmond and Jessica Sloan defended their titles from last year in the Men's and Women's Division. The 2.4 mile race was won by a mother and son, Laura Hamel and Dirk Hamel from Florida. Charles Archer from the US and Laura Shaw, from TCI but now living in Cayman Islands, took first in the new 1/2 mile race for Men and Women respectively. Many of the swimmers were 10 and under that had been trained for the 1/2 mile event by SurfSide Ocean Academy.

The 100 meter Children's Swim for kids 11 and under once again delighted spectators.

This year, a 1/2 mile Stand-up Paddle Board race followed the swim race, a first for Grace Bay. Ray Azamarad won it, closely followed by Dan Redmond.

Miss Universe Turks & Caicos graced the event with her presence and assisted with the start and handed out of medals and trophies. As in the past two years, Director of Culture, David Bowen started the race with the blowing of the conch shell.

Event organizers Ben Stubenberg and Chloe Zimmermann of Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures provided a true West Indian flavor to the event by having fresh cut coconuts for the swimmers to rehydrate with.

Local artist Stanford Handfield once again carved the conchs for the trophies while another local artist Lucie Stubbs made and hand painted the trophy stands that reflected the Turks & Caicos.

The beneficiaries for the funds raised are Provo Children's Home, the Reef Fund, and the Turks & Caicos Islands Swim Federation.

The race came just days after Yuko Matsuzaki completed her Turks & Caicos Swim Marathon from Sandy Pt., North Caicos to Grace Bay on July 2, 2014, an historic, first-ever 13 mile / 25 km aquatic journey. The Swim Marathon is likely to become an annual event for both solo and relay swimmers in conjunction with the "Race for the Conch."

The 8th annual Windvibes Watersports Tournament followed the "Race for the Conch" the next day, making for a big aquatics weekend for residents and visitors.

Ben and Chloe noted that numerous local sponsors and a tremendous volunteer base made the race a big success. The event had been receiving considerable international press, even rated the top 100 swims in the world by Daily News of Open Water Swimming. This year's race only added to the stature of the race and Turks & Caicos as a major world-class venue for open water swim racing and training.

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