Nevis StarMile 2.5 By Paul Moore
The week-long fun and festivities of the 2012 Nevis TriStar 111 triathlon kicked off with the StarMile 2.5mile Cross Channel Swim on March 25. This four-kilometre (2.5 mile) swim, which is usually from Nevis to St. Kitts, was reversed for the first time this year. This meant swimmers set off from Reggae Beach in St. Kitts and swam across the channel, known as the ‘Narrows’, to Oualie Beach on Nevis. The switch in directions made for a tougher than usual swim with most people saying they were slower than usual.
This was the 10th anniversary of the cross channel swim and it attracted its largest field to date with 130 entrants from around the globe including Australia, Switzerland, France, USA, Great Britain, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis. At 8.00am Winston Crooke – the event organiser and president of the St. Kitts and Nevis Triathlon Federation – set off the swimmers.
With last year’s winners and current record holders, pro triathletes Chris McCormack from Australia and Emma-Kate Lidbury from the UK, not here to defend their titles the swim was wide open.
The men’s race was won by Brian Harts who finished in a time of 1:08:26 and he was followed home by Sachin Sankrat, just 14, with Nikolas Pattantyus rounding out the podium places. In the women’s race it was a much closer affair with just 15 seconds separating the top three finishers. Johanna Starr edged out Kate Conklin for the win by just 10 seconds, finishing in 1:20:15 and 1:20:25 respectively, while Katherine Cochran came out of the water just five seconds later.
The youngest finisher was Christopher Kyle, who is only eight years old, and he finished in a time of 2:24:33. At the opposite end of the field, the oldest swimmer was retired judge Bob Beach who is 81 and he finished in a time of 2:00:35.
All finishers were greeted with a warm welcome and a carnival-like atmosphere at the finish. Once the race was over, athletes were treated to breakfast and a post race beach bash and awards ceremony.
1 Brian Harts 1:08:26
2 Sachin Sankat 1:11:11
3 Nikolas Pattantyus 1:18:50
1 Johanna Starr 1:20:15
2 Kate Conklin 1:20:25
3 Katherine Cochrane 1:20:30