Swimmer Raya Embury-Brown honoured her late father Emmanuel Brown this pass Saturday (August 8th), swimming 6 miles across the North Sound with her four teammates from Sting Swim Club (SSC).
Embury-Brown, Jake Bailey, Elana Sinclair Alex Dakers and Kyra Rabess started their three hour swim from Starfish Point with preferable currents taking them to the finish line at the George Town Yatch Club where they were welcomed by friends and family.
“When I finished it honestly, I was just so happy that I got it done and it was out of the way and so happy that we did this for Raya’s dad,” said Rabess. “I’m just happy in general that everyone came out and supported us.”
SSC head coach David Pursley paddled in a canoe near his swimmers for the 6 mile journey but they were not alone.
“Red Sails lend us a boat for parents to watch on, the Turtle Farm gave us two lifeguards to help us out,” said Pursley. “We had the DOE to set the route, The Coast Guard came along and escorted us with their lights so that no boat traffic could come between us, More Marine lend us two Jet skis. We also had Point Blue Sailing and Watson’s guide us the whole way with their sailboat so it was easy for us to follow.”
According to Embury-Brown, some marine life also left their mark during the swim. “They were a few jellyfish and I got stung like once or twice.” But that wasn’t all; “He cut Snickers and Twix up and left them at his house on his table,” said Rabess, referring to her coach (Pursley) forgetting their snacks.
The first North Sound Memorial Crossing focused on water and boating safety, with SSC also trying to raise money for swimmers who can’t afford competitive swimming.
“On an island like this, every kid should swim competitively for at least a little bit,” said Pursley. “Every kid should at least start with a competitive swim team so that if they do have a boat accident or if something does happen out in the water they can always get to shore.”
According to Pursley, the athletes manage to raise some funds during the swim but it wasn’t near the $15,000 they set out for. Pursley added, the North Sound Memorial Crossing will likely be an annual event.