Former Olympic Star Takes Gold In Cross Channel Swim

Former Olympian Gold medalist swimmer, Ashley Whitney of the USA, edged out her nearest rival by a mere 21 seconds, to win the 16th annual Bente Weber Memorial cross channel swim, which is done between St.Kitts and Nevis.

She came first in a time of 55:28 and Gregory White of Great Britain came in second in a time of 55:49.
The event which attracted over 230 competitors from all around the world, got on the way at about 8.30 am on Sunday 26th March.

For the first time, this year, no fewer than five former swimming Olympians were involved in the event and history was also made as Special Olympians from St.Kitts-Nevis; St. Maarten and Connecticut in the USA, teamed up with other swimmers, to form very competitive relay teams and excelled during the event.

The race started at the Oualie Beach in Nevis and ended at the renowned Spice Mill in St.Kitts, where the official presentation ceremony was held.

The top ten placers were:
1. Ashley Whitney-USA
2. Gregory White-Great Britain
3. Keri-Anne Payne-UK
4. Kevin Pollman-USA
5. Rick Schumacher-USA
6. Diego Lopez-USA
7. Erik Spit-St. Maarten
8. Tom Gean-USA
9. Eney Jones-USA
10. John Massiah-Barbados
Fifteen year old Freya Knaggs 0f Guadeloupe, placed 22nd overall and 15 year old Vernon Osborne of Antigua and Barbuda placed 34th.

Interestingly, seventy year old Doug Hellerson of the USA, placed 36th.
Chief organizer, Winston Crooke expressed thanks to the many volunteers, sponsors and all who helped to make the event the tremendous success that it was and noted that planning has already started for next year’s swim. He indicated that his ultimate dream is to get 400 to 450 swimmers starting the race.

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