The near century-old rivalry between the White Rock Amateur Swimming Association and the Crescent Beach Swimming Club has always been a friendly one.
Fitting then, that the teams’ battle for the long-dormant Semiahmoo Cup earlier this month would end in a tie.
The two historic swim groups – both of which are nearing their 100th anniversaries – took to the waters off Crescent Beach on Aug. 12 for a relay race that, between the two clubs, included 130 swimmers, and included a swim from the shore to the Crescent Beach pier; a run from the pier to the Crescent Beach outdoor pool, and concluded with swimmers doing laps.
“The day was a great success,” said WRASA’s Bill Bishop, a past-president of the association and one of the event’s chief organizers, alongside Crescent Beach Swimming Association president Bob Armstrong.
Bishop and Armstrong each led off their respective teams in the relay.
The event took about 45 minutes to complete, Bishop told Peace Arch News, and “both teams vowed to return next year for a rematch.”
The Semiahmooo Cup relay event was first staged in 1922, when the top male swimmers from each club squared off against one another. This year’s event was far more inclusive, and included male and female swimmers of varying ages and skill levels.
The relay had not been staged in “about 40 years” Bishop told PAN prior to the event, but both clubs felt reviving it for a new generation was a good was to honour the clubs’ histories as they each approach their milestone birthdays; the Crescent Beach club has been around since 1918, while WRASA was formed a year later.