Curacao Youngster Wins First Bonaire Eco-Swim

By Phillip Whitten

KRALENDIJK, Bonaire, Nov. 30. VINCENT Van Rutten, a 14 year-old distance ace from the neighboring island of Curacao, was the surprise winner of the first 5K Bonaire Eco-Swim.

The Eco-Swim was organized by Randy Nutt, (see www.randynutt.com for info on upcoming swims), who has organized open water swims on several Caribbean islands, and was sponsored by BONHATA, the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Agency, and thevictor.com. Nutt said he "couldn't be happier" with the 54-swimmer turnout for this first open water swim on the Dutch island, a scuba diver's paradise.

Aside from the 5K race, there was a one-mile swim and 200 meter swims for Special Olympians and children.

The 5K race took place over a GPS-measured 5K course that took the swimmers from Captain Don's Habitat on Bonaire, south along the coast, west across the channel separating Bonaire from Klein Bonaire, north along the Klein Bonaire coast, and then back again. Conditions were ideal, though a very strong north-to-south current was a major factor in the race.

Van Rutten, a third form student at Vespucci College (a high school) and a member of the Curacao Sharks Swim Team, took the lead from 46 year-old Jimmy Welborn about 200 meters past the turn-around buoy, then fought off a strong challenge from former Western Kentucky star, Evan Welting, 27, of Loganville, Georgia. Van Rutten finished in one hour, 13 minutes even, while Welting was 16 seconds behind. Welborn finished third in 1:14:07.

Van Rutten said this was only his third opn water swim and his first at the 5K distance (two earlier swims were 2.5K each). Ï was surprised to win," he said, ëspecially after seeing all of those big guys. I didn't know I was ahead until I touched the buoy and someone told me. I thought there were several guys ahead of me."

Welting's big sister, Laureen, 36, assistant Masters coach at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, was the top female finisher, hitting the buoy at Captain Don's in 1:14:30. English Channel conqueror Gail Rice, 45, was the second fastest woman at 1:17:02.

Ïn a playful display of sibling rivalry, Welting, who was pushed a bit off course by the current, told her younger brother: "Ÿou know you would have been mine if I'd swum in a line."

In the one-mile event, two local swimmers from Bonaire took the top two spots. Pieter Zweers, 44, was the winner in 27:22, while Simone Sweers, 38, was second in 32:43.

5K Overall Results
1. 1:13:00 Van Rutten, Vincent M 14 Curacao, N.A.
2. 1:13:16 Welting, Evan M 27 Loganvill,GA
3. 1:14:07 Welborn, Jimmy M 46 Chatanooga, TN
4. 1:14:30 Welting, Laureen F 36 S.Francisco, CA
5. 1:17:02 Rice, Gail F 45 Miami Shores,FL
6. 1:23:48 Halk, Bob M 29 St. Croix, VI
7. 1:24:55 Mancino, Cathy F 52 Miami, FL
8. 1:26:53 Soliano, Etienne M 27 Bonaire, N.A.
9. 1:30.52 Vosilla, Steve M 48 Miami, FL
10.1:35:30 Bohm, Frank M 43 Bonaire, N.A.
11.1:35:34 Rothrock, Alan M 27 Johnson City,TN
12.1:37:58 Wurzbach, Tom M 33 Gainesville, FL
13.1:40:20 Mazulli, Pat M 53 Indian Rocks Bch, FL
14.1:46:44 Sing, Carol F 60 El Cajon, CA
15.2:09:14 Fieweger, Frances F 42 Bonaire, N.A.
16.2:09:43 Kaijser, Malin F 36 Bonaire, N.A.
17.2:25:29 Frost, Sarah F 49 Newport, RI
18.2:26:20 Dyer, Allen M 57 Gray, TN
19.4:00:00 Antoin, Franklin M 49 Bonaire, N.A.

5K Men
1. 1:13:00 Van Rutten, Vincent M 14 Curacao, N.A.
2. 1:13:16 Welting, Evan M 27 Loganvill,GA
3. 1:14:07 Welborn, Jimmy M 46 Chatanooga, TN
4. 1:23:48 Halk, Bob M 29 St. Croix, VI
5. 1:26:53 Soliano, Etienne M 27 Bonaire, N.A.
6. 1:30.52 Vosilla, Steve M 48 Miami, FL
7. 1:35:30 Bohm, Frank M 43 Bonaire, N.A.
8. 1:35:34 Rothrock, Alan M 27 Johnson City,TN
9. 1:37:58 Wurzbach, Tom M 33 Gainesville, FL
10.1:40:20 Mazulli, Pat M 53 Indian Rocks Bch, FL
11.2:26:20 Dyer, Allen M 57 Gray, TN
12.4:00:00 Antoin, Franklin M 49 Bonaire, N.A.

5K Women
1. 1:14:30 Welting, Laureen F 36 S.Francisco, CA
2. 1:17:02 Rice, Gail F 45 Miami Shores,FL
3. 1:24:55 Mancino, Cathy F 52 Miami, FL
4. 1:46:44 Sing, Carol F 60 El Cajon, CA
5. 2:09:14 Fieweger, Frances F 42 Bonaire, N.A.
6. 2:09:43 Kaijser, Malin F 36 Bonaire, N.A.
7. 2:25:29 Frost, Sarah F 49 Newport, RI

5K Men Fins
1. 1:39:48 Tirgari, Reza M 32 Decatur, GA
2. 1:43:55 Dutton, Bruce M 44 Indian Rocks Bch, FL

5K Women Fins
1. 1:25:04 Wiegerink, Esther F 33 Bonaire, N.A.

One-Mile Top 8 Overall
1. 27:22 Zweers, Pieter M 44 Bonaire, N.A.
2. 32:43 Sweers, Simone F 38 Bonaire, N.A.
3. 32:58 Mazulli, Pat M 53 Indian Rocks Beach, FL
4. 35:29 Wheelan Jennifer F 33 St. Croix, V.I.
5. 37:10 Sing, Carol F 60 El Cajon, CA
6. 39:23 Crielaard, Pieter M 33 Bonaire, N.A.
7. 42:01 DeGroot, Geertje F 39 Bonaire, N.A.
8. 47:31 Teitel, Pamela F 39, Bonaire, N.A.

One Mile Men
1. 27:22 Zweers, Pieter M 44 Bonaire, N.A.
2. 32:58 Mazulli, Pat M 53 Indian Rocks Beach, FL
3. 39:23 Crielaard, Pieter M 33 Bonaire, N.A.

One Mile Women
1. 32:43 Sweers, Simone F 38 Bonaire, N.A.
2. 35:29 Wheelan Jennifer F 33 St. Croix, V.I.
3. 37:10 Sing, Carol F 60 El Cajon, CA
4. 42:01 DeGroot, Geertje F 39 Bonaire, N.A.
5. 47:31 Teitel, Pamela F 39, Bonaire, N.A.

40+ One Mile Men
1. 27:22 Zweers, Pieter M 44 Bonaire, N.A.
2. 32:58 Mazulli, Pat M 53 Indina Rocks Bch, FL

40+ One Mile Women
1. 37:10 Sing, Carol F 60 El Cajon, CA

One Mile Men Fins
1. 30:24 Dutton, Bruce M 44 Indiana Rocks Bch, FL
2. 33:09 Tirgari, Reza M 32 Decatur, GA

One Mile Women Fins
1. 39:42 Nutt, Claudia F 43 Coral Springs, FL
2. 43:13 Connelly, Shannon F 50 Bonaire, N.A.

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Author: Archive Team

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