For the first time in years, the Saipan Swim Club International Invitational Swim Meet will be a three-nation battle among CNMI, Guam, and the Marshall Islands bets.
Three clubs from Guam-Manukai Athletic Club, Manhoben Swim Club, and Tsunami Guam-will be competing in the two-day event that starts this afternoon and runs until tomorrow. Joining the Guam tankers are the Marshall Islands' Kwajalein Swim Team and the CNMI's SSC and Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan. Kwajalein is bringing in 13 swimmers, while SSC and Tsunami are expected to field more than 20 swimmers each.
The first day of the competition kicks off at 3:30pm at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool with seven events lined up in the opener. The 1,500m freestyle and 200m backstroke races are open to swimmers in the 11-and-above division, while the 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly, and 200m medley relay are for all ages, and the 200m freestyle feature U10 participants.
For the Saturday races, events are divided into two sessions with the morning competition beginning at 8am. The morning session starts with the 200m freestyle for the 11-and-above division. Next up is the 400m and the last was the 800m freestyle races and both are for the 11-and-above age group. Also set for the morning session are the 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle, and 100m backstroke for all ages.
The 50m breaststroke event for all ages kicks off the afternoon session tomorrow at 2pm, while the remaining races are 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke (for 11-and-above), 400m freestyle (for 9-and-above) and the 50m freestyle, 200m individual medley, and 200m freestyle relay for all ages.
Each swimmers is allowed to enter as many as eight solo races and one relay. Ribbons will be awarded to the Top 8 finishers in each races, while SSC will award trophies to the Top 3 placers in each age group (U8, 9 to 10, 11 to 12, 13 to 14, 15 to 18, and 19-and-above). Points will be awarded to swimmers based on how they finish in the race to determine the Top 3 placers.
Ocean swim Sunday
Meanwhile, the weekend competition will culminate with the 35th Annual Saipan Ocean Swim in Susupe (near the former AJ's Restaurant).
So far 109 have already registered for the Sunday event, breaking last year's number of 36. Manukai is fielding 16 swimmers, Tsunami Guam and Kwajalein have 13 each, and Manhoben has nine. The host and Tsunami Saipan also have listed identical numbers of participants at 20 each, while 19 other Saipan swimmers have also signed up.
The ocean swim will have four divisions: 600m (for U8), 1K (9 to 10), 1.3K (11 to 12), and the 2.5K for 13-and-above participants. Adults swimmers can choose either the 1.3Kor 2.5K event. Races begins at 8am and interested swimmers can still sign up on the day of the competition.