Liming for good reason

Locals often take for granted the blessing of Cayman’s natural beauty.

Seeing beautiful beaches, calm waters and clear skies is nothing special for residents.

swimming kids

The kids loved getting pizza at the end. Photo: Matthew Yates

But when a sea swim depends on favourable conditions and they appear in a big way it’s only right to give God thanks.

Last Saturday the 22nd annual LIME 800m went off in glorious fashion across Cayman’s iconic Seven Mile waters.

An estimated 140 people came out to the swim and spanned all ages from early childhood to mid sixties.

The enthusiasm radiated from the participants the minute they began registering at 3pm on Governor’s Beach.

There was an undeniable buzz over how ideal the conditions were, the amount of preparation people had put in for the race and how well organized everything seemed.

For the most part there were a lot of amateurs in the field. Some were new to the idea of sea swims and others were new to the island period.

On the other hand many prominent faces in the sports world came to compete. From local tri-athlete extraordinaire Jasper Mikkelsen and local swim coach Dominic Ross to Bridgette and Coral Tomascik, there was certainly a competitive edge to the proceedings.

Special mention goes to water-lover Frank Flowers who came and competed in spite of breaking his left toe only hours before.

Among the persons that greeted the eager participants were local athletics coach Jerry Harper and Cayman Islands Amateur Swim Association member Tom McCallum.

After registration competitors spent the time mingling and warming up. Then again in the case of Kelly Reineking and her swimming dog Chica it was a time to hang out and relax on the beach.

Soon the four o’clock hour would roll around and competitors made the traditional line spanning from the start of the beach up to the Governor’s residence.

From there organiser and CIASA President Bill McFarland gave advice and last minute race information to the competitors before instructing the masses to enter the water.

Many people gathered at the foot of the beach to take in the race start. Among them were triathlon guru Brendon Touhey and his son Christopher.

In a flash, the Touheys and the other onlookers would be treated to an epic start. Organiser Dagmar Wojcicki blew her air-horn and unleashed a swarm of loud splashing and crashing as the swimmers set out down the course.

The younger swimmers, who were placed at the head at the group, paced the field from the get-go. With the likes of local swimmers Andrew Smilley, Lara Butler and Tori Flowers out for the race that came as no surprise.

In fact the finish would be anti-climatic. Seiji Groome, who had a comfortable lead the whole way, emerged the winner. For Groome the win was the latest of his sea swim triumphs as he won the Foster’s Sea Swim last September.

He was followed by fellow swimming phenoms Joshua Bain in second and Geoffrey Butler in third. All are under 16 and are off to the CARIFTA Games next week.

The Flowers sisters were the first females home as Summer came in fifth while Tori was right behind in sixth.

Once the swimmers poured in they got their number cards and took off for the tent set-up on the foot of Seven Mile Beach.

Pizza, drinks, medals and a LIME t-shirt would serve as their reward for a hard 30 minutes worth of swimming.

From here the open water swim season churns out more races. The Butterfield Sea Swim takes place May 9 before the Flowers Sea Swim goes off on June 20.