Barbados Festival Celebrates 5th Event

In 2016, Barbados enjoys a golden year – celebrating 50 years of Independence – and the Barbados Open Water Festival (BOWF) will enjoy a milestone of its own as it hosts its fifth event Nov 2-6.

Born out of casual conversation between local masters swimmers back in 2011 the BOWF has flourished, enjoying an expansion that has surpassed the expectations of husband and wife organizing team, Zary and Kristina Evelyn. The annual event now attracts more than 350 swimmers of all ages and abilities from as far away as Australia and Hong Kong. Originally, the Festival started as a one-day event but evolved into five days of swimming including three days of informal swims and two days of competitive swimming (1.5K, 5K, 10K).

In its relatively short history the Festival has hosted an impressive list of well-known swimmers. Alex Meyer, recently retired elite open water swimmer, will return in 2016 for his third visit.  Taylor Abbott, Junior World Champion, has been a winner at BOWF (2015) as has Eney Jones, former pro triathlete and famed American Masters swimmer.  Masters Legend Jane Asher of the UK, British Masters Champion Stuart McLellan, American Masters Swimmer Darcy Le Fountain, Triple Crown holder Erica Moffat and Australian World Record Holder (85-89) Dorothy Dickey are just a few of the many talented swimmers that have visited to “Swim the Bay.”   In 2016 we look forward to welcoming Canadian Olympians Katie Brambley and Martha McCabe and their group: “The Freestyle Experience”

Every year the visiting swimmers rave about the ideal open water swimming conditions in Carlisle Bay, a protected Marine Park.  Swim conditions and beauty of the island aside, there is a wonderful camaraderie among the swimmers at this event with its laidback island-life setting and the highly popular pre-event practice/social sessions leading up to the swim races. It’s this mix of fun and competition in a fabulous location that has resulted in excellent reviews and many repeat swim visitors.


Mission: To promote open water swimming in Barbados and to share our crystal waters with swimmers from around the globe!

Swim Barbados Vacations hosts an annual open water swimming event in Barbados – Barbados Open Water Festival (BOWF). Conditions for open water swimming at the swim venue of Carlisle Bay are excellent. The event offers swim races (1.5K, 5K, 10K) and in some years kayak races and SUP races are also offered. Prizes are awarded in many age categories from Under 12 to 65+. The event attracts swimmers of varying ages and abilities from across the globe as well as many swimmers from the local community. There are pre-event guided practice swims at the swim venue and other locations as well as open water swim clinics. Online entry, details about the event and Barbados, travel packages, photos and more available on the website. The organizers are also part of the organising team for Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, one of the premier sporting attractions on the island (this year the dates for RBMW are: Dec 2-4, 2016).

BOWF 2016 will take place on November 2nd-6th, 2016.

Swim Barbados

Swim Barbados, Carlisle-Bay-aerial-3



Swim Barbados - BOWF logo (horizontal)-01



In This Story

Leave a Reply

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!