Swim competition in Camana Bay offers two events in one

By Christopher Tobutt

20 July 2021

Caucasian girl in swimsuit twirls in air above swimming pool during synchronised swimming routine
Abbie Carnahan flies high while twirling during a swimming team’s routine at the Caymanite Invitational synchronized swimming competition.

The Caymanite Invitational synchronized swimming competition is always very exciting, not only for all of Cayman’s young artistic swimmers who get a chance to showcase the solo, duet or team routines they’ve practised so hard for all year long, but also for their proud parents who come with their smartphones at the ready to capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

But this year the event, which took place 22-23 May at the Camana Bay Sports Complex Pool, was even more special than usual for the members of Cayman's artistic swimming national team because it doubled as their performance for this year’s CARIFTA games competition.

Instead of cancelling the competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic — as happened with other sports — CARIFTA pushed ahead with artistic swimming in a virtual fashion, with each of the participants’ routines being filmed and sent to the judges.
The sport of artistic swimming has grown quickly since Coach Alissa Moberg launched the

Caymanite synchronized swimming team just a few years ago, really from the ground up.
Although it might sound less demanding that other forms of sport swimming, artistic swimming is strenuous and requires highly controlled movements and artistic interpretation of music through underwater speakers. Points are awarded on technique, and how well movements are executed, their level of difficulty and their artistic merit.

For the children just starting the sport — some as young 5 years old — artistic swimming is fun, and their enjoyment was on display during the soloist and duet team routines on 22 May.

The following day was more serious in tone and devoted to figures, which meant very carefully executed forms in front of judges, but without any music.
Coach Alissa Moberg said she was pleased with the way the dual event came together and how everyone, including the athletes, the coaches and the judges, had to be creative in the use of limited resources.

"Parents and former athletes also stepped in to help and we had a big crowd today who supported all these swimmers and what they are passionate about doing," she said. "It shows that this sport really has a lot of potential.”

This article originally appeared in the July 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.