Courtesy of Best Fest, Colonia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca, Spain.

From South Africa to Spain, Mark Perry has been taking his elite swimmers around the world for years.  The head coach of Swimming Canada’s national open water team was previously in the same position with British Swimming knows how best to prepare his athletes for all kinds of competitions, conditions and challenges. 

Swimming Canada is sending its national representatives to compete at the week-long Best Fest open water swimming festival, which begins Saturday at Colonia Saint Jordi on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Perry said, “Best Fest offers a fantastic series of different races where we can really challenge our young swimmers.  The team will train and compete in five different race distances on different courses in a wide variety of conditions.  We have daily feedback sessions in groups and on an individual basis, showing extensive video analysis from both our drone and kayak-based cameras.

We’re able to effect massive change and have a unique learning opportunity in a short space of time, which is invaluable when developing athletesThis is predominantly a development team with a few new swimmers.

The Canadian swimmers include Kenna Smallegange of the Burlington Aquatic Devilrays, Kate Sullivan of the Mount Pearl Marlins, Payton Rerie of the Manta Swim Club, Madison Archer of the Nepean Kanata Barracudas, Chantel Jeffrey of the Island Swimming Club, Kyla Ross of the Island Swimming Club, Hau-Li Fan of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Swim Club, Ryley McRae of the Kamloops Classic Swimming, Calvin Slinn of the Winskill Dolphins, Alex Axon of the Markham Aquatic Club, and David Quirie of the Nepean Kanata Barracudas.

Smallegange, Sullivan, Ross, Axon and Quirie will race in Best Fest to prepare for the UANA Junior Open Water Championships later this summer held in Wisconsin, USA.  Meanwhile, Fan and Jeffrey will compete at the Best Fest to prepare for July’s FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea.

In addition to Olympic coach Perry, Swimming Canada’s team includes two team managers, assistant coach Steve Price, apprentice coach Rob Novak, physiotherapist Ron Castro, physician Dr. Vanessa Young, physiologist Liz Johnson, and Swimming Canada Integrated Support Team Director Dr. Allan Wrigley.  We also have the event to test out new technology and strategies so we have sports science staff here working on that with the swimmers, coaches and support staff.”

For more information about Best Fest, visit here.

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