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2013 Potcakeman Triathlon

The 2013 Potcakeman Triathlon timing was sponsored by Purina pet foods, produced by BAARK!,  a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a better life for dogs (and cats) throughout the Bahamas.


We provided the RFID timing services for around 200 athletes in the Triathlons – ranging from kids to adults.  The 750m swim, 21km bike, and 5km run was challenging enough – but mother nature threw a curve ball in with some wet weather, and choppy seas.  A couple of athletes withdrew from the swim, but the majority managed to finish the swim and the course despite the weather.

We used the Chronotrack RFID tri-tag, coupled with the Chronotrack disposable tri-strap.  The relays utilised an exchangeable neoprene strap, allowing them to pass off and reattach the tri tag to each member of the relay.  We had

We had over a 96% read rate, the majority of misses were at the swim exit, where the entrance to the transition area was a bit wider and didn’t force athletes over our line.  This is where the most misses occur in triathlons – we have new side-mounted readers, Chronotrack Flashpoints, coming in which will virtually eliminate these missed reads.

Using the rest of the data collected, we were able to estimate the few missed times for the swim and ended up with a 99.5% read-rate.  The 4 missed times left were due to a relay team not reading at the swim exit – and then the cyclist holding the chip in his hand vs attaching to his ankle.  We were unable to recover any of their splits – once the run was started and the tag properly fixed, we were able to read their run and overall time.

Please contact us if you would like to use our race services at your event!  [email protected]

The 2013 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend turned out even greater than I could have imagined!

About a week before the event I started getting nervous, as many participants were signing up at the last minute and three days before the event there was a surge of registrations.  We had enough spots for 200 persons, however the triathlon turned out to be insanely popular!  We ended up having to Fedex (from Hawaii) additional triathlon straps for the Chronotrack Tri Tags, but we managed to accommodate everyone!

DSCN1987For the 1-mile Open Water Swim, along the innately beautiful Treasure Cay beach, we grew from 5 participants to 30!  That’s a 6-fold increase!  The winner from 2012 was present to reclaim his title in 2013, and we hope to see Peta in 2014 again!

The next day we had the Sprint & Olympic triathlons – which grew from a combined total of 18 entrants (including 3 per relay) to 60 participants!  That’s a 333% increase!  We had to setup extra bike racks and manage transition a bit differently, but we now know how to handle the larger crowd at the Coco Beach Bar parking lot, and look forward to hosting an even bigger and more exciting 2014 triathlon event!  We even had a 10-year old girl complete the Sprint triathlon, finishing at the same time as our Olympic champion, Simon Lowe!DSC_0202

The kids’ race was AWESOME!  Toni managed to get the kids fired up with an impromptu dance/stretch/spaz session and we had 30 kids run a mile!  Some took it seriously while others had a ball and ran every which way, they all had fun!

The 5k/10k was the one that worried me the most in terms of the registrations – especially the late registrations on the morning of the race.  While we did have a few, we weren’t inundated and managed to have a respectable 70 persons enter the combined events.   We did not time the walkers last year, but in terms of runners we had 24, I’d say we doubled that.

Overall I was very pleased with the event – a bit more preparation in terms of speeches, courses, and volunteers and I think we will be a strong event.  Treasure Cay was SOLD OUT of rooms, and they have already booked us out 50 rooms for next year, as 45 were directly attributed to our event.  If you’re planning on visiting on March 21-23rd, 2014 – I’d recommend you book your room soon!

Thanks to everyone that came out and supported – volunteers, sponsors, spectators, staff, and of course participants!  A special thank you to Sabine, Ray, Avis, and the rest of the Treasure Cay Staff, as well as the TC Fire Department and the RBPF.   Thanks to Jason, Toni, and Jen for dealing with me and getting me through the event – I’m sure by the end of the event I had run my own marathon!




The 2013 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is now open for registration. Registration details are available at the event website or by contacting the Ministry of Tourism in Marsh Harbour.

 The weekend-long event will be held from March 22-24th at the Treasure Cay Beach, Marina, & Golf Resort. The weekend starts off with a 1-mile open water swim on Friday, a Sprint & Olympic triathlon on Saturday followed by a kids’ 1-mile run, and a 5k/10k fun run/walk on Sunday.

 Planning for the second instance of the event has been taking place over the past year and the organizers look forward to having a larger, fun-filled, family oriented event.

 Last years event brought around 75 participants and dozens more volunteers and spectators. This year there has been keen interest both locally and abroad, with a large group from Freeport planning to compete as well as a good base of athletes out of Nassau. Abaconians are expected to provide strong competition yet again, as the inaugural event was successful and well-received throughout the archipelago.

 Last year local triathletes Simon Lowe and his father Greg Lowe were slated to compete head-to-head in the Olympic triathlon, but due to an injury Simon had to watch from the sidelines. This year they both plan on returning and Greg will defend his title against his son and the other competitors.

 The first two online registrations were both women, one from Freeport and the other from South Carolina. The event is geared towards both locals and visitors alike. Treasure Cay has one of the most scenic ocean swims available and it was ranked one of the top ten beaches in the world by Caribbean Travel & Life.

 The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Treasure Cay Resort & Marina, and Damianos/Sotheby’s International Realty have again joined as the main sponsors. All of the sponsors’ support of the event is immensely appreciated, along with all the hard work and support of the volunteers, friends and family.

 This year Bahamas Ferries has a trip running from Nassau to Abaco for the event, leaving Friday morning and returning Sunday afternoon. Those interested are asked to contact Bahamas Ferries directly to book their transportation.

carlo milano tri updated

The 2012 42nd Annual Bernie Butler Swim Race & Beach Party took place on August 18th.  Of course, Toni and I were there to support and to be a part of the classic “Nassau Contingent”!  This year we were joined by Jeff and Jessica as well as the ever-present Higgs clan.  Chrystonia and I flew up on the Friday, seeing Grouper and the Higgs party in the airport bound for Freeport.  We opted this year to stay at the Grand Lucayan as they were offering two specials, one for Bahamians and one for everyone, and we opted for the “everyone” as this gave us a nicer room at the same cost!

We – well, I – thought it would be a good idea to try the new Flying Fish restaurant.  The food was as expected, fancy with smaller portions and a bit pricey of course.  While I enjoyed our appetizer and main course, Toni found something off with her main course which was odd considering it was vegetarian.  Unfortunately she fell ill later that night and through the morning, so she stayed in bed for the actual race itself.

We had a great view of the start of the race, and judging by how it looked that morning it didn’t seem to be too bad!  Early Saturday morning I sauntered off to find a marker and I may have slightly confused  the girl working the gift store, as she had to write my race numbers on.  I headed out of the hotel in my speedo and googles to join the start just a few minutes walk down the beach.  I met up with our Nassau Contingent and we prepped for the race, which really didn’t consist of much but a brief swim and some stretching.  The water looked a bit choppy but it didn’t seem any worse than it has been in some of the previous years.

After a prayer by Bert we were off, and immediately I noticed the waves were a bit strong to head into.  The pack thinned quickly and I noticed a few people ahead and a few behind.  As the race dragged on it felt slow, but due to the chop and current it was hard to judge.  Barely did I have time to notice the bottom as breathing was limited to the right (inshore) side only, and even then a breath or two would have to be missed due to a rogue wave.  Spotting proved difficult, so I tried to pop up every few strokes to make sure I was on track.  Twice I ended up much further inshore than I expected, probably adding a minute or two at least to my overall time.

Upon finishing there weren’t that many people in front of me, maybe 4 or 5, so I know it was a decent swim.  The course was very challenging this year, and the finish times reflected it.  The top swimmer (Joshua Rigby, 15, Freeport) finished in 43:21 – compared to times in the low 30’s in previous years.  I’m glad I wasn’t wearing a watch; my time of 47:06 would have been demoralizing as I expected (with previous conditions) to be in the 35 minute zone.  My finish allowed for the top place in the 39 and under male category as well as 6th overall (I believe).  The full results, along with a brief article, can be found on The Bahamas Weekly.

I hung around the finish for a few minutes to see our fellow Nassuvians in before walking back the 1.8 miles or so to the hotel.  Toni had recovered for the most part, and we rested for a bit before joining the beach party in the afternoon.  As usual, the weather had calmed down making the morning’s swim seem like a walk on the beach!  The after-party was great of course, with the USCG having their demonstration along with BASRA.

We finished the weekend with lunch at Agave and a boat cruise with Miranda and Wayne, a beautiful side of Freeport which I had never seen before!

Overall another great event and weekend, and I was pleased with my race performance.  Thanks to the Freeport crew for the great event and I look forward to the Conchman in November and the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend in March 2013!

I’ve been so busy organizing this event that I have forgot to link to it from here!  Not like anyone reads it but hey it adds google points and stuff.

Join us March 23-25th 2012

1 Mile Open Water Swim
Sprint/Olympic Triathlons
Kids 1-Mile Fun Run
5k/10k Fun Run/Walk

Treasure Cay, Abaco, Bahamas


Abaco Open Water Swim 2011

Saturday, October 1st was the 2011 Abaco Open Water Swim. This event has been around for 7 years now I think, and continues to be a great event. I tried three years ago to race this, and dropped a door on my toe a few days before, so I had to let Mike compete alone after we both trained for it! Last year I had to fly in the night before and fly out immediately after for Alec’s wedding! This year, the event coincided with my nephew Frye’s birthday party! So between Sarah, Frye, and a great event, I had no choice but to head up to Abaco! Add in the part where I learned to wakeboard, and it was a superb weekend!

In the days leading up to the swim, my brother decided to do the 5k with minimal training! In the day before, we managed to convince Rhiannon, Sarah A., and Lindsey to form a relay and compete!

We headed over early in the morning from Hope Town (after loading up a kayak), and made for the Crossings in Marsh Harbour. It was a beautiful morning and there were flat seas just as there have been the past few years. We arrived at the public dock, registered, and after a very quick warmup swim we lined up for the race. I think there were about 20 of us on the line, and about 50 swimmers total with the relays.

The first leg was going well and the current was minimal. What a relief, I thought, as that leg was the hardest last year! Rounding the bouy and heading to the second marker, the current picked up; even more so on the final leg of the first lap. And, just to add some difficulty to the race, this head-on current got stronger with each lap! However, we all seemed to persevere and make it to the finish line!

1:20:39 Overall
0:26:40 First mile
0:26:48 Second mile
0:27:11 Third mile

Matthew and I took first and second place in the male 18-35 category! OK, we were the only ones in the category.

I didn’t have much training leading into this one; I had been swimming a bit for the UWC but that was all short distance. Overall I was pleased with my swim. I didn’t go out to drown myself but ended up with a consistent swim. I felt like I could have kept swimming, maybe next year they can organize a 10k swim!

Many thanks to Sara, Brent, the Abaco Swim Club, Swift Swimming, and all those involved in organizing and participating in such a great event! I look forward to this event every year now, and I hope to see it grow in size and stature! See everyone there in 2012!

BASRA Swim 2011

The 2011 Bernie Butler BASRA Swim was held on August 20th, in Freeport, Grand Bahama. (Wow, it’s been over a year since I started this blog and this adventure!)

This year’s Nassau contingent consisted of myself and Mike, with supporting cast Sarah, Sam and Kim. Also present were the Higgs’ clan including Grouper himself and his father. We headed up Friday night, settled in to our average stuck in the 70’s (but cheap!) hotel, the Bell Channel Inn. We headed down to registration on Taino Beach and then went to Port Lucaya for a good but very filling dinner at Shenanigans!

Friday morning we were up early and headed to breakfast in the hotel. OK, we were not up as early as I thought as Mike, Sam and Kim were finishing breakfast as Sarah and I came in. We headed down to the finish area to get body marked. The water was rougher than we had hoped (and than last year). We got checked in and hopped in the car with Sam to get dropped off to the start area. Yes we’re lazy, and so is Dave, who joined us for the ride. They almost didn’t let us cut through one of the hotels in Port Lucaya in our speedos, but once explained they escorted us through!

We prepared for the race with the usual prayer session with Bert Bell, and swam out for the start, an in-water start off the anchor line of a boat. We pushed the start, and I felt good. As the pack thinned out I noticed one guy still swimming in and around me. He drafted off me as much as possible even with the (inadvertent, of course) kick or two I gave him. There was some swell and some decent chop. I think I managed to hold a decent pace, mainly because at the end I didn’t have the extra oomph to sprint with the ramora-like swimmer that had been latched on to me for about half the race.

I ended up 13th overall with a time of 37:56. This was not far behind Mike in 6th with 36:14. We both won our age groups, this is the one year in 10 that Mike and I will be in separate divisions! Overall I feel we competed well! Grouper had no finish time because he started and jumped out of the water to take photos (pre-approved early entry, unlike Ferdie several years before!) Peter brought up the back of the pack but still finishing with a respectable time of under an hour! Sarah ended up with a time of something like 14 minutes, but that’s because she decided to run it instead of swim it! Sam and Kim finished up 3rd or 4th…I mean 3 or 4 beers!

Reports were that there were two hammerheads sharks spotted! There’s a reason why fogged googles and choppy waters can be a benefit!

I didn’t get many photos of the event, hopefully I can find some somewhere. But the after party was great! The fundraiser for BASRA was very well organized and (I hope) successful. We ended up in the Higg’s tent where there was plenty of good food and drink and fun! The USCG made an appearance and a rescue show in their chopper, and the dolphins from UNEXO showed up for a demonstration! We made it through to the presentation, definitely not with our wits about us (Mike) and had a great time. Nassau, as usual, was a strong showing for aged groupers! We continued the party well into the early evening, and headed home.

We finished the evening with dinner at Red Beard’s, which was amazing. Great fresh mango daiquiri’s and good sandwiches. Mike missed it due to being “asleep”, however he decided to wake up around 11pm and be wired and ready to go out! He got denied and I believe retired once again. We closed out Sunday with a trip to Port Lucaya and a few beers, before sending Sarah back to Abaco and ourselves back to Nassau.

Another great event and fundraiser down, many thanks to BASRA Freeport and the organizers including (but not limited to) Jill and Bert. I look forward to competing again in 2012, and hopefully getting an ever stronger team together!

Swift 2010 Old Fort Bay Swim

Competed in the Swift Swimming 5k swim today, ended up 12th or so I think (1st in age group, but only two of us!).  A time of 1:31:32 was a bit slow, but the course was rough and I ended up swimming the wrong path on the second and third laps!  The winner (a 12 year old kid!) did it in 1:16:something which was slower than my time in Abaco, just shows the course conditions of open water can vary drastically!



Courtesy Quadrathlete Wannabe Fernando!

Courtesy Quadrathlete Wannabe Fernando!


Abaco Swim Club 5k Swim

Competed in the Abaco Swim Club 5k Swim 2010 and placed third overall, I think there were about 15 people doing the full 5k and a few relays.  I finished in 1:15 something and the top two were 1:08.  Not bad for my first long distance open water swim!  The weather was beautiful and it was a calm day, there was a bit of tide but nothing too drastic.  I had a great first race and was very happy with my results and the event!

The one that started it all!  I began training in June 2010 for this event, as a way to get back in shape and focus on a goal.  Overall I believe I did fairly well, placing 4th in the male category, about 10th overall I think.  4th was great…because age groupers got Costa Del Mar sunglasses while the Top 3 finishers did not!

Race Article:


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