ST. CROIX, US Virgin Islands. October 16. RACE results are in from the 17th annual Coral Reef Swim, one of America's most successful swim competitions, held October 14th. More than 150 swimmers raced through turquoise water and coral reefs to the finish line at The Buccaneer resort's palm-lined beach. The swim is open to all levels and ages of swimmers. The Buccaneer is the headquarter hotel for the swim.
Trophy winners were Los Angeles-based Alex Kostich, former member of the U.S. National Team; London Olympic athlete and St. Croix native, Brandon Whitehurst; Fernette Ramnath of North Port, Fla.; Leslie Butts from San Antonio; Kieran Locke, a St. Croix native residing in Pompano Beach, Fla.; Misty Hyman, 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, of Phoenix, Ariz.; St. Croix native Catherine Milton and Chistopher Kontos of Durham, N.C.
Swimmers of all ages and abilities, including first-time open water and first-time ocean swimmers participated in the two-day Coral Reef Swim. The event begins with a welcome cocktail party at The Buccaneer's historic Sugar Mill; pre-swim events including a newcomers' open water clinic, course previews and race talks, and an awards ceremony at The Buccaneer following the race. Winners received custom glass sculptures hand-crafted by St. Croix artist Jan Mitchell, and several varieties of local Cruzan rum (for adults).
The Coral Reef Swim has become one of America's most prestigious open-water swims, attracting swimmers from around the world. Swim teams were also among the competitors, including senior swimmers from Trinity University, the Sarasota Sharks Masters who were first-time Coral Reef Swim participants and took home several trophies, the Durham Academy high school team, and the St. Croix Dolphins team. Three generations of a family also competed.
Next year's Coral Reef Swim will be held on Columbus Day Weekend, October 13, 2013.
All proceeds from the race are donated to The Nature Conservatory to benefit the East End Marine Park coral research.
Check out more events hosted in St Croix at StCroixSports.com