Strong Currents and swells bring out strong performances at Birkirkara St. Joseph Garmin Open Water Swimming Competitions
The seemingly good weather conditions belied the strong currents, particularly in the North Comino Channel and swells that 132 swimmers, undertaking the Birkirkara St. Joseph Garmin Malta – Gozo – Malta and Gozo-Malta Open Water Swim Race, had to contend with on race day.
The 11km race saw fourteen swimmers starting at the crack of dawn from Marfa Beach, where they proceeded towards Comino onto Gozo before heading back through the North Comino Channel. The only surprises in the final results where the massive improvements registered by winners of the Race, Andrew Sultana and Sarah Demicoli.
Sultana, won the 2017 edition in a time of 2:41:09. This was the Open Water Swimming National Team athlete second foray in this distance. “This is the second time I competed in this distance. The north westerly force 3-4 wind did not seem too daunting, it was a tough race especially at the beginning when we were heading towards Gozo. Eventually the sea conditions improved and the return to Marfa was a steady consistent pace. I am definitely pleased with my result, not only because of the win but also due to the massive improvement of eighteen minutes from the time registered last year”.
Whilst there was little doubt that Sarah Demicoli would retain the title she won in 2016, it is worth noting that the Open Water Swimming National Team athlete beat her 2016 time by fourteen minutes. Demicoli finished the race in 2:44:31.
“Today’s race was my second over such a distance. Whilst the sea wasn’t as rough as last year, it felt more challenging especially around Comino where it was very choppy, making it hard to find a rhythm with your stroke work. Nevertheless, training and hard work [...]