The 53rd annual event began in traditional style with an invocation, a rendition of the national anthem as well as welcome and opening remarks and culminated with somewhat of an untraditional surprise.
Large crowds lined the pier and the “bay front” observing and enjoying the many activities which had been organised, some cheering on their friends and loved ones who were participating.
Races included the 25 yards freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, underwater dive, long distance swim. Each participant competed with persons of similar gender and age grouping: the females were grouped in the 5-7 category, 8-12 category, 13-16 and 17 and over category and so were the males. All races – barring the long distance race which was only designed for those 17 and over – were done by persons in all categories.
Elissa Claxton, who participated in the 17 and over races, was named victrix ludorum for the sporting meet.
Other winners were awarded with a variety of gifts which were donated by sponsors of the event including gift-sets, cash and bottled drinks.
One of the highlights of the day was the “ham on the pole” event. As is the custom, a utility pole would be suspended from horizontally from the pier across the water, at the end of which a ham would be tied. The pole would be heavily greased and the challenge would be walking to the end of the pole to retrieve the ham. Many attempts were made but for the fourth consecutive year, Isimba Daniel won the prize. He struggled at first to loose the rope – which suspended the ham – from around the pole but his perseverance paid off. Daniel was also the winner of the second ham.
An innovation for this year’s meet was a kayaking competition, which replaced the speedboat competition. First place winners for those races are: Deondre Browne and Stephen Phillip in the 8-12 category, Kamul Liddie in the 13-16 category and Romaine Belgrove in the 17 and over category.
Introduced at the previous aquatic sports meet, boxing was another highlight at the Easter Monday event. Young men and their friends were encouraged to enter the ring and engage in a friendly boxing competition.
Contestants of the first-ever Mother’s Day Beauty Pageant made appearances at the meet as one of the innovations of the event. The young ladies will take centre stage on the evening of 7th May, 2011 at Carnival Village to vie for the tile.
The evening culminated with a magical exhibition by “the greatest magical performer St. Kitts has ever seen”, Tumka Abdorama.
Organiser of the event, Winston ‘Zack’ Nisbett told MiyVue.com that he hailed the event a success and thanked all sponsors for their contribution to the event’s success.