Weinberger and King Earn Spots to World Champs

FORT-MEYERS - Richard Weinberger (UVPCS) won back to back races yesterday during the 10th annual Open Water Festival in Fort Meyers, Florida, wining his ticket to Shanghai for the FINA word championships, with Aimeson King (IS) finishing second and also securing a spot on the team.

The weather condition, sunny, 84 degrees with mirror like water holding a steady temperature of 81 degrees.

The day began with Swimming Canada’s 10km Open Water World Championships trials where Weinberger collected the gold a mere 2 seconds ahead of second place finisher Aimeson King (2:04.14), also of Victoria.

Xavier Desharnais of Lasalle QC, was third in 20:04.17. 

In the women’s 10k event, defending national champion Zsofia Balazs of Toronto breezed thru the finish line 2 minutes ahead of the pact finishing with a 2:11.22.

At 8500m, Beatrice Pineau of Quebec, QC led Nadine Williams by 1min20 sec. With 500m to go, Williams closed in on Pineau out touching her at the finish.

Swimmers who finish top 2 in both men and women’s race have earned their ticket to represent Canada at the FINA worlds this summer in Shanghai.

In memory of Fran Crippen

The Crippen Mile capped off a day full of races and clinics at the 10th annual Open Water Festival.

A total of 83 swimmers from throughout North America gathered on the sugar-sand shores of Fort Myers Beach for the inaugural Crippen Mile on Saturday evening.

“He was such a great swimmer,” said Weinberg to local reporters. “I remember telling my coach, ‘I wish I had his speed. I wish I had his stroke.’ Just his attitude, everything – he was such a great swimmer.”

Men’s second-place finisher Xavier Desharnais, also of Swimming Canada, remembered Crippen’s generosity and willingness to help better other athletes.

“He was like a role model for me,” Desharnais said.

“Sometimes you see the older swimmers and they won’t always speak to the young guys, but that wasn’t Fran. I would see him every meet and he would speak with me and help me. He was always there for you.”

Results for the Canadian 10km Open Water World Championships Trials


  1. Richard Weinberger (UVPCS) 2:04.12
  2. Aimeson King (IS) 2:04.14
  3. Xavier Desharnais 2:04.17
  4. Simon Tobin 2:04.43
  5. Philippe Guertin 2:06.24
  6. Mark de Swardt 2:08.25 (South Africa)
  7. Zachary Parkes 2:0836
  8. David Dorian 2:09.32
  9. Marshal Parker 2:21.27 


  1. Zsofia Balazs 2:11.22
  2. Nadine Williams 2:13.54
  3. Beatrice Pineau 2:13.56
  4. Heather Maitland 2:15.50
  5. Joanie Guillemette 2:15.53
  6. Leonie Pamerleau 2:15.57
  7. Caitlin Nolan 2:20.45
  8. Eloise Labreque 2:26.34

Full results for the Crippen Mile: www.openwaterfestival.org