ON Wednesday, August 25th 2021 – just 4 weeks after Edward “Ted” Lomicka completed his swim from Fond Bay, Micoud to Smuggler’s Cove, Cap Estate – Vanessa Eugene took to the waters of Rodney Bay to complete a 6.25 Kilometer swim. The crew was made up of co-workers at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort as well as family members and an official observer from the organisation called Saint Lucia Channel Swim, Sue Tyson.
This being under 10 KM would not be classified as a full marathon swim, but a major accomplishment as the first documented woman to complete this swim route.
At 6:04 a.m. the horn sounded on the Sandals boat and Vanessa ran into the water at Sandals Grande. The conditions were perfect – light winds, sunny with a little cloud cover and calm seas. The only concern would be if the currents would change during the swim.
“Breathe! Breathe!” Terrol Compton (her manager) called out from the boat as she pushed her way through the water to reach Barrel o Beef (La Roche). After just 1 hour and 17 minutes, Vanessa reached “the rock” to make the turn around it. There can be a cross current around Barrel o Beef, but this was in Vanessa’s favour on this day. She continued on her trek back to Sandals Grande beach. After 1 hour and 21 minutes at 8:42 a.m. Vanessa reached the shore with many workmates and guests waiting for her. (Completion time 2 hours 38.20 seconds)
Vanessa Eugene has been an active member of the swimming fraternity for years. As a member of national swimming teams she has travelled the region representing Saint Lucia in pool swimming. However, she has always had a passion for open water swimming which doesn’t stop with just swimming.
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 Spa and beach Resort as part of their Watersports 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 Saint Lucia Channel Swim since 2018. In 2019, Eugene was a member of a four-person local relay team attempting to swim from Saint Lucia to Martinique. Her list of participation and accomplishments can go on and on.
Eugene’s motivation for this particular swim route was to encourage others to start swimming in the open water that surrounds Saint Lucia. As she mentioned, “There’re many folks that come here to swim, so I would like to encourage more Saint Lucians to do the same.” Both she and Sue Dyson, Saint Lucia Channel Swim organizer/director, agree that more Saint Lucians need to know how to swim since we are surrounded by water. Water safety and learning to swim are of major importance.
Up next, Eugene plans to swim to Rat Island. She will be supported by Saint Lucia Channel Swim in organizing this swim. The Saint 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.
Special thanks to Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa and Beach Resort, Bernard Fanis from Calabash TV, and Ronald Raoul for their support throughout this swim.