By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
It’s not every day that our little sand bar has the honor of having two former Olympic swimming legends grace us with their presence, but thanks to Open Water Planet (OWP), both 4-time gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg and 3-time gold medalist Rowdy Gaines came to town to help host the first SPI Open Water Festival.
The 3-day event featured an Open Water Planet Day and OWP Vendor Village on Saturday, a dinner and screening of the movie The Last Gold, and three swim events: a 500-yard sprint for kids, and both a 1-mile and 5k open water bay swim races.
Bobby Brewer, former national swim champion and creator of Open Water Planet, has spent a good part of his life in the water. “I could swim before I could walk. I’ve swam all my life and I still swim now,” Brewer noted.
He spoke about how OWP came to be. “Open water swimming became an Olympic event in 2004, and we saw a huge opportunity and a boost in the sport, so I decided to expand from representing Olympic athletes into actually doing my own events. We had our first race in 2007 and we’ve been going ever since with events all around the U.S.”
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