One Stroke at a Time – St. Lucia Channel Swim Launched

Image: International swimming facility in Martinique (Photo: SLASA)

THE Naked Fisherman at Cap Maison restaurant was the scene of the official launch for the inaugural Saint Lucia Channel Swim Event schedule for July 6-8, 2018.

Present at the event were Dominic Fedee, Minister of Tourism, Patrick Mathurin, Director of Youth Development and Sports, Nathaniel Waring and Sue Dyson discussed the intricacies of Channel Swimming, as well as event details how this ties into Sports Tourism.

Minister, Fedee spoke about Sports Tourism being a niche market that Saint Lucia needs to embrace. He pledged the support of the government stating “endorses the event” and needs to be further explored.

Philip Rush will be leading the three day event, Rush is the current world record holder for the fastest two and three way swim crossings of the English Channel and one of the most accomplished open water swimmers of all time. Rush now a coach, motivational speaker and fire-fighter will conduct open water swimming clinics on July 6th and officiate the Channel Swim from the Official’s boat on July 7th. During the Open Water Swim meet, Philip Rush will be the official referee.

On Friday, July 6 there will be a two part Open Water Clinic for coaches/adults in the morning followed by a session in the afternoon for local swimmers and youth. On July 7th, early in the morning, the Channel Swim will take place leaving from Smugglers Cove, Cap Maison beach.

This full day event will be followed by an Open Water Swim Meet with 1K, 3K, and 5K distances is co-hosted by Sea Jays Swim Club and open to the public and region.

For more information regarding participation and registration for the various events, you are asked to contact Sue Dyson at or by calling 758-716-7806.

At 3:38a.m. on Wednesday 16 May, the 40’ Lewmar Catamaran named “ALL IN” started to slowly pull out of its slip at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina. The 11 passengers and crew on board knew an attempt at creating history was in the making. Molly Nance was about to be the first woman to successfully swim across the Saint Lucia Channel to a small beach in Saint Anne’s, Martinique.

Once the vessel reached around Pigeon Island, Captain Martin Thomas, 1st Class Boatman with 26 years of sailing experience, guided Nance and her support team to Cariblue beach at The BodyHoliday.

In darkness, Nance climbed out of the boat at around 4:38a.m. and swam to shore with her kayaker Weston Moses on her side. At exactly 4:43a.m.with Nance’s hand in the air, Captain Thomas sounded the horn and the historic swim began under the starry skies.

The support team consisted of Nathaniel Waring and Sue Dyson, co-organisers of the Inaugural Saint Lucia Channel Swim, as well as Paul Nance (husband and greatest supporter), Lily Bergasse and Thalia Bergasse. As the sun rose high into the sky, both islands could be seen in the either direction. As more and more distance was covered, Nance reached halfway across the channel around midday. After 13 hours 56 minutes at 6:39p.m., Molly Nance swam onto a small beach just west of Anse Meunier, Martinique.

This was not the first completed swim across the stretch of approximately 22 miles, 34 kilometres.

In 1987, Jacques Sicot swam from Martinique to Saint Lucia. After being swept off course by the current, he finally landed near Pigeon Island after over 19 hours. Sicot decided in 1988 to swim from Saint Lucia to Martinique and completed this attempt in approximately 12 hours.

Despite other attempts between Sicot and Nance, the Saint Lucia Channel Swim organisers will make sure they are not the last.

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