Turks and Caicos, July 7, 2017 – Providenciales – Swimmers in the 8th annual Turks & Caicos “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim on Saturday July 1, 2017 could not have asked for better conditions for the 2.4 mile (Ironman distance), 1 mile, and 1/2 mile events, as well as a 100 meter Children’s Swim. The calm, clear, turquoise water impressed veterans and first time racers alike and confirmed why the event has been called one of the world’s best open water races. Even Jojo added magic to the day with an appearance along the race course that stretched in front of Club Med, Rickie’s Flamingo Cafe (race start and finish), Ocean Club East, Tuscany, and Venetian to the Coral House.
The top finishers faced tough competition to claim conch trophies made by local artists Standford Handfield and Lucy Stubbs. In the 1 mile Men’s Division Ryker Rush from the US edged out top TCI swimmer Dan Redmond, while Alexandra Atkinson took first in the Women’s Division.
In the 1/2 mile race, Amanda Abbot from the US, who came in 2nd last year, returned to take first this time. TCI swimmer and swim coach Jessica Söderqvist, who had not swum competitively in three years, came in second. In the 1/2 mile Men’s Division, TCI swimmer Jack Parlee won by a commanding lead. Jack, represented TCI at the CARIFTA Swim in Nassau this past April.
Diego Lopez from the US won the Men’s Division convincingly in the 2.4 miler, while the Women’s Division saw a thrilling finish between Beth Margalis and Megan Kruth from the US. Both swimmers swam side by side the whole way—Beth coming out of the water just ahead of Megan.
In 2014, Megan, an Ironman triathlete and 17 time All-American Collegiate swimmer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania crashed her bike during training. She cracked her skull and suffered traumatic brain injury. It was so severe that she could not swallow, talk, or walk. When she came out of her coma, she began a long process of recovery. Just last year she got back in the pool and started swimming again. On a friend’s suggestion, she decided to make the “Race for the Conch” her first athletic comeback event and brought with her family and friends to cheer her on.
Said Co-Race Director Ben Stubenberg, “Megan’s remarkable 2nd place finish in the 2.4 mile, as well as 3rd place finish in the 1 mile race just a half hour later, won the hearts of everyone on the beach that day. Truly life affirming story of courage. A great honor to have her here.” Added CoDirector Chloe Zimmermann, “So inspiring! This is what the race is all about.”
Proceeds from the charity event put on by Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures and Marco Travel go to the Provo Children’s Home, TCI Swim Federation learn-to-swim programs, and TC Reef Fund.
The organizers thank all of the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible. They include: Royal West Indies (Race Hotel), Grace Bay Club, AVIS, Colonial Insurance, Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board, Surfside Ocean Academy, Bay Bistro, Prestigious Properties, Graceway Supermarkets, Projetech, Finishing Touch, TCI Waste, Adventurescape, Big Blue, and Blue Loos. Also big thanks for strong support from Carolina Medical Centre, Grace Bay Medical Centre, Diversion Scuba, TCI Coffee Roasters, artists Alizee Zimmermann, Carol Potter, DJ Viper, photographers from Brilliant Studios, drone videographer Agile LeVin, along with JJ Cocovibes and RAW Elements reef safe sunscreen for teaming on environmental sustainability.
Next year’s “Race for the Conch” Eco-SeaSwim will be held on July 7, 2018. Race website: www.ecoseaswim.com
Press Release: Ben Stubenberg
Photo Credit: Brilliant Studios
CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).
In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”
The priorities stated under the agenda are:
- Curbing emissions to limit global temperature
increase to 1.5 ̊C
- Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and
loss and damage
- Improving access to and delivery of climate finance
for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach
- Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience
- Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,
sustainable and resilient development
- Promoting gender equity and social inclusion
approaches to climate action
- Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as
core to the climate response
- Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered
approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice
The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.
Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Sea Patrol Vessels Approved by Cabinet, October 11 Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 26th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at the Governor’s Office, Providenciales.
All Members were present except the Hon. Josephine Connolly.
- Approved the Consultation Report on the Proposed Amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Ordinance with amendments and agreed for the amended document to be brought back to Cabinet for final approval for onward submission to the House of Assembly.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Geta Crew Holding Ltd. for a mixed use development project on the island of Grand Turk, with the view of entering into a Development Agreement as per the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and the National Investment Policy.
- Approved the renewal of rental lease agreement, for various Government offices, between TCIG and Waterloo Property Management, Grand Turk.
- Approved the awarding of the following contracts:
- PN 005694, TR 23/13, Furniture and Equipment for NJS Francis Building; and
- PN 005696, TR 22/10, Purchase of Patrol Vessels.
- It noted the update from Her Excellency the Governor regarding the upcoming visit of UK Ministers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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