Masters in Venezuela
In 1986, the 50 year old
Venezuelan-American Friendship Association, known by its'
Spanish acronym "AVAA", endorsed and organized the first FINA
rules Masters swimming championship and named it the: "Triple
Corona de Natación Master Amistad", an event held three times
a year in three different cities in Venezuela.
the Latin-American & Caribbean Championship
In 1990 the Council of the
Triple Crown Foundation, announced the first
Latin-American & Caribbean Championship to be held in 1991 at
the Naciones Unidas Sporting Complex in Caracas, the same
venue that hosted the 1982 Pan-American Games.
The idea was to jump on the
band wagon of the swimming trend for Masters and include other
countries in the Americas and Caribbean, besides the U.S.A.
and Canada. At that time there were no regional events offered
and the Masters swimming was still in an infant stage. Native
Latins, Caribbeans and foreigners who resided south of the Rio
Grande were eligible to compete.
Championship - Caracas, Venezuela - 1991
Registered swimmers from
Perú, Argentina, Brazil, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Latin U.S.A.,
Trinidad and Venezuela. A total of 376 Masters participated.
The event was such a success that it was overwhelmingly
decided to continue the championship every two years in a
different place. San Juan Puerto Rico was chosen.
Championship - San Juan, Puerto Rico - 1993
Registered swimmers, 475 from
Venezuela, Mexico, Barbados, Argentina, Panamá,
Trinidad&Tobago, Brasil, Surinam, Puerto Rico. One of the most
prestigious clubs on the island was used as the venue for the
Championship - Christ Church, Barbados - 1995
Hosted by the Casuarina club, the event had more than 600 registered athletes from
Guatemala, Venezuela, Mexico, Bermuda, Trinidad&Tobago, Puerto
Rico, Panama, among others. The great innovation was the "open
water" swim in one of the beautifully tropical bays.
Championship - Oaxtepec, Mexico - 1997
Organized by "Acuática Nelson
Vargas" was held in Oaxtepec, in the state of Morelos (close
to Cuernavaca) in September '97. Over 1,200 swimmers from
eleven different countries registered. The open water event
was held in a crystalline river at the "Las Estacas" resort
some 30 minutes away from the main event.
Championship - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA -1999
The 5th Latin American and
Caribbean Masters Swimming Championships saw a total of 1086
Masters from 19 countries assemble at the International
Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. For the first time, the Internet played a prominent
role in a LatyCar championship, providing service in all three
LatyCar languages (Spanish, English, and Portuguese). Over 380
registrations were received via secure, web-based registration
forms complementing conventional registration procedures.
Entry confirmation and problem solving as well as the
distribution of results took place exclusively via the LatyCar
website. An incredible 301 LatyCar records (plus world and
many national records) were set over the five days of
competition! Rounding out the personal achievements and record
setting, were fun-filled intervals of great music, food,
dance, sight-seeing, sunbathing, and friendship in this sub-tropical
Championship - San José, Costa Rica -
After having had the LATyCAR
championships hosted by countries in South America, the
Caribbean and North America, it was time to have one of the
Central American countries to host the “Super Sexto” 2001 LATYCAR, this would compliment on the LATyCAR's goal of
Masters development in the region. This was the first
experience in which the national Federation (FINA member) was
directly in charge of running and organizing the event which
proved to be very positive in furthering LatyCar’s learning
LatyCar positively combined
both organizations' experiences including having brought in
experienced 1999 officiating team from the USA which well
complimented their developing Masters program, under the
leadership of Irene Gordon.
The "Super Sexto" brought
LATyCAR much experience dealing with the Tourism and Sports
Ministries as both were recruited in order to have the support
on all the necessary facilities and providing the swimmers and
family with a fantastic tourism programs.
Besides having brought Costa
Rica its largest Masters event ever, LATyCAR made a donation
to their swimming community of a complete eight lane and water
polo COLORADO TIME SYSTEM which arrived just in time to be
used for the Championship.
Sports held: swimming and
water polo in San Jose; the open water swim was held on the
Pacific side of the country; postal events were also swum
prior to the meet, specifically, 1500 mts., the one hour
individual and the one hour relays.
In total 700+ athletes from
19 countries participated in the week long competition and
over 40 new continental records were established. All relays
were held on the last day before the OW, this way athletes had
the freedom to visit the city and volcanoes after their early
swims. This program innovation was a complete success. Water
Polo was played in the evenings with clubs from five
The swimming Championship was
won by Caracas Masters from Venezuela. The Italiano-Venezolano
Club from Venezuela won the polo tournament. Many excellent
results were obtained from our Costarican experience,
principally that their local Masters have jumped on our band
wagon and are actively pursuing growth in their country,
additionally water polo was introduced to the program.
Championship - Barbados - 2003
Several bids were received to
host the 2003 LATyCAR Championship. Barbados won over Puerto
Rico and Dominican Republic, unfortunately this last site was
out of the budgeted figures, as it would also have been an
Once again LATyCAR was
organized by the local national federation (FINA member), the
Barbados Amateur Swimming Association (BASA).
More than 300 swimmers
registered. Teams from 18 countries were represented and over
90 new continental records were established. The 1500 meter
Postal event was also swum prior to the meet with more than
20% participation, a new record.
The weather was absolutely
beautiful with clear blue skies and strong breeze. The events
went as scheduled finishing just after noontime enabling
athletes and friends to visit the island throughout the
afternoons and evenings.
The Open Water event took
place in beautiful Carlisle Bay under spectacular weather
conditions only seen in places like Barbados, more than 150
The meet Referee, Irene
Gordon (USA), husband Bob Gordon as well as all the assisting
officials once again did a superb job. Their knowledge and
experience made it possible to, once again, have a smooth and
organized meet in every way. The Championship was conducted in
accordance with FINA Rules.
The Awards Dinner was well
organized and amply covered by the local press. All individual
and team recognitions were publicly handed out. The meet was
won by Bramaster team from Brazil .
The AMISTAD-CUBA 2002 Postal
events winners were also awarded with beautiful individually
custom made Cuba island pendants.
Once again, LATyCAR leaves an
example to all the regional Masters athletes about friendship,
competitiveness, empathy and personal warmth with new found
aquatic rivals, and turned out to be an excellent opportunity
to exchange backgrounds, ideas, experiences and knowledge
between countries. All were overwhelmed specially by the
Barbadian nationals competing, since each one of them did a
wonderful job as hosts.
In order to make sure the
LATyCAR message gets to all athletes in the continent, all
future championships will have appropriate promotion of the
event to all Americas Masters swimmers.
Several bids were received
for the 2005 LATyCAR, Sao Paulo Brazil being selected as the
official venue for that Championship.