MSABC hosts first ever Open Water Provincial Championships!Posted: August 15, 2013
This year on Sunday, July 28th the Masters Swimming Association of British Columbia (MSABC) held its first ever Open Water Provincial Championships.
With over 200 entrants in five events swimmers from across the province jumped into the warm waters of Thetis Lake (Victoria, British Columbia) to share their love of open water swimming. The event raised close to $20,000 for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The event was a partnership between the HtO Thetis Lake Swim for MS and MSABC. With the help of SwimBC and a special guest Chief Referee from Calgary – Patti Clarkson – the organizers were able to have events that were both sanctioned and exhibition, ultimately leading to more participation in the swim.
Hosting a sanctioned event was a significant challenge for the organizers as there is a shortage of open water swim officials in British Columbia. Once they found one however, they quickly jumped on the opportunity to use the Provincial Championships as a training opportunity for future officials.
A significant number of Victoria Masters Swim Club members volunteered at the event, providing encouragement and support to a number of “new” swimmers. Masters swimmers participated in both the sanctioned and exhibition events with some of them swimming up to 8 kilometers that day.
Masters swimming is seeing an increase in the number of people participating in open water swims on Vancouver Island. This year’s Thetis Lake Swim saw an increase in participants of over 40%. Several MSABC members have jumped in for the swim portion of local triathlon events and close to 20 Victoria Masters participated in a fun “wee little swim across the lake” which took place at Lake Cowichan 1 week prior to the Provincials.