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Mallorca training camp deepens pool for future open water success

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Last week, 22 swimmers from across Canada assembled in Mallorca for a training camp, seizing the opportunity to experiment with fresh techniques and race strategies in preparation for the ongoing BEST Fest.

“We’re really excited to repeat this initiative, and collaborate with the provinces to help them improve their knowledge around the discipline of open water swimming,” said Mark Perry,  Swimming Canada’s distance/open water coach. “The coaches and swimmers from this camp will be able to apply their newfound knowledge in their home provinces, further improving the development of Canadian open water swimmers.”

The athletes capitalized on this camp to gain valuable insights by swimming alongside new teammates under the guidance of fresh coaching perspectives.

“I really love meeting new people, so I am always excited when an opportunity revolves around meeting new teammates, athletes, staff and coaches,” said Jessica Dreghici, from Club Warriors in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. “This camp will expose me to training with other athletes, so it’s nice to gain that experience training with people the same speed as me and specifically distance swimmers.”

Last year Canadian athletes completed a similar camp and added 35 medals across all the distances at the BEST Fest. Some swimmers, like Langley (B.C.) Olympians Swim Club athlete, Aidan Erikson, are returning after last year’s success with the goal of working alongside other Canadian swimmers to collect more medals.

“Last year at BEST Fest I swam the 5-km and from that experience I learned that it is important to get out strong with the leading pack and get a head start in the race so I’m going to try and apply that this year,” Erikson said.

Erikson took to the water on Saturday to race the 5-km event, placing third right behind teammate Olivier Risk from Ottawa’s ROC Swimming, who placed second among the senior men.

Max Vorobiev from Markham (Ont.) Aquatic Club also competed in the 5-km race and was the first swimmer to cross the finish. Grande Prairie (Alta.) Piranhas Swim Club athlete, Dominik Kwiecien, was the next men’s junior swimmer to complete the race.

On the women’s side, Brynne LeRoy from the Saint John (N.B.) Fundy Tide Swim Club led the senior women with Shayne Bowie of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club following closely behind to claim third place.

Maria Saldana-Reibling from Vancouver’s Canadian Dolphins Swim Club delivered a strong race, finishing first overall amongst the women. Delphine Piatera-Mercier representing Quebec’s Club de Natation de Sherbrooke finished the race in third place amongst the junior women.

Races continue until Friday with Canadian swimmers zeroing in on the upcoming 1500-m, 4×500-m, 7-km and 10-km distances.

Full event schedule: