BVIOC to host Olympic Day runs and inaugural BVI Beach Games

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC), in collaboration with member national federations will host the first community BVI Beach Games at Brandywine Bay Beach from 10:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday, June 27, 2021.

The BVI Beach Games is an initiative that was first introduced at the BVIOC AGM by the BVI Rugby Football Union as a potential community event following the successful beach rugby and CrossFit fundraiser they organised in November last year.

Working with the national federations for rugby, volleyball, football, sailing and triathlon as well as Castaways CrossFit, the BVIOC is facilitating a community-oriented event aimed at encouraging residents of all ages to try a sport and get active.

The day will feature mini tournaments, pick-up games and an opportunity for anyone to try the aforementioned sports.

“These inaugural games will feature sports that already have a beach version so we know that the land based events are suited to be played in sand,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We are excited to have a fun, healthy and physically active family-oriented event in a safe, outdoor space where the community can get together while maintaining their social distance in keeping with current protocols.”

The BVI Beach Games will include music entertainment, bouncy castles, food and ice cream for sale by Brandywine Estate Restaurant and Icy Treats as well as a bar. Recycling of disposables will be in effect and managed by Green & Clean VI Ltd. A collection table for the donation of non-perishable items for the Family Support Network will be set up as a charitable community out-reach element of the day.

The event will be the first of two annual beach games planned with the second beach games to be hosted in November 2021.

“The long term goal is to develop these disciplines that are already played as beach sports competitively at regional and international level with a view to inviting our neighbours in the USVI, St Maarten and Puerto Rico in the winter of 2022 and hosting the first Regional Beach Games possibly in the winter of 2023 provided COVID-19 travel protocols make it viable,” said Penn.

This event will take place the weekend after the traditional 1 or 2-mile Olympic Day run/walk on Saturday, June 19 in collaboration with the BVI Athletics Association and starting at 7:00am (registration at 6:30am) from the A.O. Shirley Grounds, Tortola and a 3-mile walk/run managed by the Road Runners’ Club and starting at 6:00am from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Virgin Gorda. Cyclists are also welcome to join an Olympic Day ride in VG which will depart from the college at 6:00am.

Attendees at both the Olympic Day events and the BVI Beach Games will be required to observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand sanitising while at the event.

Records Fall, Or Reset, In Second Peter Island-Athlon

By BVI Triathlon Federation

Cyclists tackle the course at Peter Island during the fundraising 2015 Peter Island-athlon. Photo: Todd Van Sickle

Cyclists tackle the course at Peter Island during the fundraising 2015 Peter Island-athlon. Photo: Todd Van Sickle

On Saturday, the BVI Triathlon Federation hosted several events at Peter Island Resort to raise money for the Family Support Network organisation. The event featured a triathlon, an aquathon and Zumba.

The triathlon consisted of a 1,000-metre swim, a five-mile bike ride and a four-mile run. There was also a team division.  The aquathlon featured a 400-metre swim and a two-mile run.  After the adult divisions finished, there was a youth event, which consisted of a 50-metre swim, an 800-metre bike and a 100-metre run.

Antony Spencer topped the men’s triathlon recording his fourth victory in this year’s triathlon season, making it four-for-four so far.  Kat Brownsdon topped the ladies division. Both won this event last year.  Team Xtreme with Tash Ruscheinski, Alastair Abrehart and Kat Crumpler won the team event.   Guy Williamson and Jenny McIvor won the mens and ladies divisions respectively in the aquathlon.

While faster times were recorded across the board, general consenus is that the swimming course was 200-metres shorter than it should have been because Peter Island, in the course of replacing the swim zone markers over the winter, may have put them back closer together. Therefore, the records have reset rather than been broken.

Vernon Johnson competed in the run portion of the triathlon as part of the Peter Island 2 Team. It was his first time competing in a running competition. “My runs are a little more scenic, this was more rigorous,” Mr. Johnson said.

He added that working on the island didn’t give him any advantage in the race. “There are some really good runners and swimmers here today,” Mr. Johnson said. “This course is really challenging with the hills. The descents are really hard on the knees too.”

The assistant general manager added that there were a few reasons why he was competing in the event, including boosting camaraderie among his co-workers. “We were able to get the employees and managers together to do something good. It is for a good charitable cause,” Mr. Johnson said. “And to challenge myself.”

All told, the event raised $1,440 for FSN.

Gareth Thomas was running the cadet races. He said holding such events is important to the sport’s future. “The idea behind holding a cadet’s race is to get more kids out there, because obviously they can be tomorrow’s adult athletes,” Mr. Thomas said. “We are trying to encourage as much swimming, biking and running for these guys, because it is going to be fantastic for them to keep fit with all the challenges of obesity. What better place to do that than Peter Island. It has been fantastic.”

About 12 cadets between the ages of 5 and 12 years old took part in the youth event.
This year the BVITF has a five-race series for the cadets. The winner of each division will be awarded a new bike.

“There is motivation there,” Mr. Thomas said.

Alex Fountain, 9, won his division in the cadet race on Saturday. “It feels good to take the gold,” said the Cedar International School student after the race. It was his third consecutive win this season. He said Saturday’s race was one of his favourites, because of the course.
He said he enjoys the run the most.

BVITF President, Antony Spencer was the overall winner for the second consecutive year. He beat Natasha Ruscheinski out of the water, by just a few strokes. “That always makes me feel so happy, because she is much faster than me,” Mr. Spencer said. “She has been away for five weeks. That is the only time I have beat her.”

Aside from competing, he also helped organise the event. “We always hope everything goes smoother for the second year,” Mr. Spencer said. “Everyone knows what they are doing.”

Last year, some of the competitors had trouble navigating the course, but this year the organisers and the host placed signs at various points throughout the course.

“I would say that it would be impossible for anyone to go the wrong way, but someone did,” Mr. Spencer said.

All of the entry fees go to FSN, which is the chosen charity by Peter Island Resort.

“It is lovely to see all the people who turned up today,” Mr. Spencer said. “The more that turn up, the more we donate. So, a big thank you to everybody.”

Aside from the resort breakfast, charity and beautiful location, the competition is still very stiff, according to the BVITF president. “We are keeping each other honest,” Mr. Spencer said. “It gets harder and harder each year. There is a real rivalry in the men and women triathlon community.”

The BVITF said there are signs that the sport is growing in the region. Next May, there is going to be a Caribbean Islands Championship. The event will be held in Miami for the first year and will most likely move around to different islands.

“It was decided that it would be held in Miami, because it would be the easiest place to get to,” Mr. Spencer said. “Everyone is really excited about it. We are going to take as many as we can, so we can put the BVI on the triathlon map. That is our goal.”

Full results | Photo Gallery

Spencer Wins National Sprint Champs in Record Breaking Time

By BVI Triathlon Federation

Antony Spencer, 2015 national champion, recovered well after swimming into a moored dinghy. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Antony Spencer, 2015 national champion, recovered well after swimming into a moored dinghy. Photo: Broadsword Communications

In the BVI Triathlon Federation’s National Sprint Champs, newcomer Jenny McIvor vanquished the other ladies to gain her first title as national champion, while grizzled veteran Antony Spencer placed the men’s crown on his head for the second time, and set a new record, after taking 39 seconds seconds off 2011 Chris Ghiorse’s time.

The National Sprint Champs are held at Sandy Ground boatyard, Soper’s Hole and comprise a “sprint distance” 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike ride and a five-kilometre run.

The men’s division saw three national champions battling for glory again. This was reflected in the finish times which were considerably faster than 2014 with Antony, second placer Richard Morgan, and third placer Russell Crumpler, all posting better times than last year’s winning time. Russell was four minutes faster than his winning time in 2013 and Richard one minute faster than his 2014 championship time. This may be in part be due to faster swim time generated by the Barracuda that shadowed the competitors on the opening swim leg.

Fortunately the silver assassin turned out to be no more trouble than a delinquent halibut and swam off into the murky waters beyond, possibly deterred by the sight of Dan Mitchell in his onesie, enough to put even the most hardy water born predator off their brunch – Iain Walker

Richard Morgan storms the bike leg. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Richard Morgan storms the bike leg. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Mirroring previous events, Spencer exited the water well ahead of Morgan, only to lose the advantage to Morgan, the stronger rider, on the bike leg. Into the run, Spencer started just ahead of Morgan, with Crumpler ready to pounce in third.

This was a battle royale, as Spencer and Morgan jousted for position, exchanging the lead six times, each digging deep to out gun the other. Just behind, and by no means out of contention, Crumpler was slowly winding them both in, hoping to profit from any lapse. At the one mile mark Morgan cracked and Spencer slipped away to cross the line two minutes ahead of his rival in a new course record of 1 hour 12 minutes and 57 seconds. Crumpler, just 37 seconds behind Morgan, took third.

Jenny McIvor – 2015 Ladies National Sprint Champion. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Jenny McIvor – 2015 Ladies National Sprint Champion. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Jenny has roared into form this year, shocking the other ladies with fast improvement. Tash Ruscheinski, true to form, powered through the swim and managed to maintain her lead, putting in a ride time 30 seconds faster than Jenny. However, Jenny, much fleeter of foot, posted one of the fastest runs of the day, decimated Tash’s lead with a run six minutes faster than Tash, finishing just under three minutes ahead. Kerry Dos Santos was third.

In the team event, Trott, Buckle & Crumple (Martin Trott, Laurent Keeble-Buckle and Kat Crumpler) fielding a very swimmer and runner were assured of their victory barring catastrophe and romped home 3 minutes and 43 seconds ahead of Team Blitz (Cayley Smit, Justin Smit, Jules Potgieter) despite Justin reeling back almost 4 minutes on the bike leg.

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Click for full results

Click for photo gallery

Standings after 3 races

Potgieter and Spencer top first Semi Steel

Anthony Spencer, Semi-Steel man 2013. (Photo credit: Broadsword Communications)

Anthony Spencer, Semi-Steel man 2013.
(Photo credit: Broadsword Communications)

In the inaugural Semi Steel, Jules Potgieter, who is currently dominating the women’s field in the 10k running series, completed her first triathlon and topped the women’s division. Seasoned old dog Antony Spencer won the men’s division.

Putting in a very creditable time of 1:14:13, Jules created the women’s benchmark time for this new event. However, it was very much a race against herself as she was the only woman to compete as an individual.

Antony comfortably won the men’s division despite his fears at the run transition with a time 1:04:37. He beat the current BVI National Sprint Triathlon Champion Russell Crumpler, by 2 minutes and 34 seconds. Adrian Dale was third, one minute and 48 seconds behind Russell.

Iain Walker and Mariano Lopez joined Jules Potgieter in completing their first triathlon.
Three teams contested the team division with Worth A Tri (Emily Titchmarsh, Debbie Bell, Kat Crumpler) winning, Government House second and Island Girls third.

There was a small turnout for this event with a number of potential competitors away, injured, or possibly saving their powder for the BVI Steelman on December 7th.

Click for full results.