Press Release:- On Sunday, November 21st, 2021, Vanessa Eugene made the historic attempt of swimming from Sandals Grande St Lucian beach to Rat Island and back. Her 14 KM swim would be the first documented swim known for this swim route.
Additionally, it will be ratified through the international body Marathon Swimmer’s Federation since the measured distance is over 10 KM.
Vanessa Eugene has been an active member of the swimming fraternity for years. As a
member of national swimming teams she has traveled the region representing St Lucia in pool swimming.
However, she has always had a passion for open water swimming which doesn’t
stop with just swimming. Ms. Eugene is a scuba diving instructor, trained lifeguard, swim coach, and has completed part of her boat captain credentials.
She currently works at the Sandals Grande St Lucian as part of their Water sports department, where she has tried to motivate her team to take to the water train. She has actively assisted on many of the marathon swims organized by St Lucia Channel swim since 2018.
In 2019, Ms. Eugene was a member of a 4 person local relay team attempting to swim from St Lucia to Martinique. Her list of participation and accomplishments can go on and on.
To maintain safety, proper nutrition, and hydration, support crew are needed on such an
endeavor. The boat and captain and boat crew were provided through her employer Sandals Grande Saint Lucian.
To provide proper documentation for ratification by Marathon Swimmers Federation, Sue Dyson, organizer of St Lucia Channel swim, performed duties of Independent Observer; to assist, she solicited Bernard Fanis and Ronald Raoul to assist with photos and
videography (drone footage).
At 6:21 AM the horn sounded on the Sandals boat and Vanessa ran into the water at Sandals Grande. The conditions at this time of year can be challenging with increased winds, sporadic rain showers, and changing currents. This proved to be true for this swim attempt.
As Ms Eugene made her way to Rat Island, the current was in her favor, reaching Rat Island in 2 hours and 18 minutes. However, the currents around Rat Island and on her way back would cause her to swim over another 4 hours to finish in a time of 6 hours 58 minutes and 10 seconds (pending ratification).
At 1:19 PM, as Vanessa Eugene walked on the beach and the horn sounded for the official end of her swim, she was greeted by enthusiastic locals, co-workers, friends, family, and hotel guests. Honorable Ministers Kenson Casimir and Shawn Edward warmly greeted our long distance swimmer as well.
After some brief celebrations, Ms Eugene was presented with a noteworthy Gold Swim Cap donned with Marathon Swimmers Federation logo signifying this momentous swim.
Water safety and learning to swim are of major importance to Ms. Eugene. She encourages all St Lucians to learn to swim and be safe in the water. With no immediate plans next, Ms. Eugene looks long-term to swimming across the Saint Lucia Channel (33 KM) to Martinique.
The St Lucia Channel swim has several major swims planned for 2022 and is also hopeful to get back to the open water clinics and trainings as well.
Headline photo courtesy Calabash Television.