Rebecca Sharpe won the 200m back in 2:16.49. *Photo by Don Burgess
Rebecca Sharpe won the 200m back in 2:16.49. *Photo by Don Burgess

It was another golden night at the National Aquatics Centre for Bermuda’s swimming team.

Bermuda claimed two gold and a silver at the NatWest Island Games with Ashley Yearwood and Rebecca Sharpe leading the way.

Yearwood claimed her first individual gold of the Games by setting a new PB with a 26.50 in the 50 free, nipping the Shetland Islands’ Andrea Strachan to the wall. Bermuda’s Rebecca Heyliger barely missed the podium in the same event with a time of 26.84 to finish fourth behind Courtney Butcher of Guernsey.

Yearwood said: “I’m so happy. Before the race I kept telling myself ‘I can do it, I can do it’ so it was great that I actually did it.”

Her PB prior to this was 27.01 at the national championships.

Yearwood added the training she did while away at university has helped improve her times tremendously this year.

“I’m at university now so I do a lot of sprint work.”

Yearwood now has six medals at these Games – the full set of gold, silver and bronze as an individual and two gold and a silver as part of the relay team.

Rebecca Sharpe added to Bermuda’s gold tally by winning the 200m back in 2:16.49, beating Lara Butler of Cayman by nearly two seconds.

She told the Bermuda Sun: "I swim better in front of family and friends so really the gold was for all of them. Adding to Bermuda's Gold medal total means something special to me. I had a unique experience in the water because for the first time I heard the crowd cheering and that never really happens, especially knowing they were cheering for me - well that cheer took me all the way to the finish line my body was numb. But I sure felt the pain afterwards - A great night for swimming in Bermuda with Ashley's gold as well."

Bermuda’s women relay team was seeking its third gold of the Games but finished with a respectable silver in the 4x100 free. Maddie Moore, Lisa Blackburn, Heyliger and Yearwood broke the Island Games record with a 3:53.46, but Jersey’s relay team had an outstanding swim as they clocked 3:50.46 to take the gold.

Earlier in the evening, Blackburn broke her own national record in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:11.69 to finish fourth. Her old time and Bermuda national record was 1:12.16.

Blackburn said: “It feels really good to swim a best time. To set a national record is great. It was kind of bittersweet because a national record is always great… but to finish out of the medals is kind of disappointing, but I’m happy with the swim. The race was really competitive. For the girl (Strachan) to go 1:08, that’s a world class swim.”

The swim team has won 12 of Bermuda’s 38 medals so far – four gold, three silver and five bronze.