Bermuda resident Erik Soria relied on his experience and local knowledge on the way to defending his title during the annual Butterfield & Vallis Round the Sound Swim at the weekend.
The 36-year-old former US Olympic trialist blitzed a field boasting a record number of overseas competitors to capture a fourth consecutive triumph in the ten-kilometre event, covering the distance in 2hr 16min 31sec.
“You never know which visitors or up-and-coming swimmers are going to show up,” he said. “I used my experience and knowledge of the course to manage the race.”
Soria’s time was 22 seconds shy of the record he set last year.
“Was a little disappointed to miss my course record,” he said. “But overall I was proud of the swim.”
Eileen Mullowney claimed the women’s title and was third overall after being pipped by Graham Smith for second by only two seconds.
“I gave it all I could to beat Graham,” Mullowney said. “But credit to him, he has put in a lot of training and he was just a little too strong for me on the day.
“What a great day and as always a wonderfully organised event.”
Harry Hunsberger, who was among the nearly 190 visitors that competed, rounded out the men’s podium in the 10K, while Americans Gabriella Feibel and Christine Hammond were second and third among the women.
Jake Mason won the 4km event with James Lawler finishing second and Edouard Von Herberstein third.
Visitors swept the podium in the women’s 4km event, with Marina Falcone finishing first, Claire Singley second and Ildiko Szekely third.
Brian Desmond won the men’s title in the 2km event with Jack Harvey and Nicholas Pilgrim finishing second and third.
Taylor White won the women’s 2km title. Sue Wager was second and Myeisha Sharrieff third.
Giulio Ligori won the men’s 800 metres event, with Augustin Yiptong taking second and Joseph Vallis third.
Ashley Irby won the 800 metres women’s event followed by Marleigh Howes in second and Chloe MacDonald in third.
A total of 388 swimmers competed in the swim, which is also a fundraiser for the Bermuda Zoological Society, the host for the finish at the Aquarium.