Brac back in the swim

The Sister Islands Swim Club hosted the Cayman National Bank ½ Mile Sea Swim last month, proving that recovery from Hurricane Paloma is well under way in Cayman Brac.

A total of 36 Brackers and one swimmer from Grand Cayman – Bill McFarland – took part in the event, which followed a half mile course inside the reef at West End from south of Carib Sands, to just past Divi Tiara.

Swim conditions were excellent, with a strong current pushing the swimmers along towards the finish line.

First to cross the line was Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association president, McFarland, who had come over for the day to assist the Sister Island Swim Club in organizing the event.

The first male and female swimmers from the Brac to finish were Martha Rivers, finishing second overall with a time of 16 minutes 15 seconds, and Matthew McKinley, with a time of 17 minutes 17 seconds, finishing third.

For their efforts, Martha and Matthew were awarded a round-trip ticket on Cayman Airways from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman to allow them to participate in the 17th Flowers One Mile Sea Swim, donated by the CL Flowers and Sons Group of Companies.

In preparation for the swim, coach Michael Hundt and a team of volunteers pulled large amounts of Paloma displaced metal from out of the water onto the beach, and Public Works came along afterwards and cleaned up the shore.

McFarland said: ‘As this was the first time I had been back to the Brac since Hurricane Paloma, I was amazed at how normal the swim-course looked. Mike Hundt, the Sister Islands Swim Club and the community of Cayman Brac are to be commended for working so hard to prepare for the swim. From the perspective of a swimmer, one would have been hard-placed to find evidence that a major hurricane had passed over the Island in recent times.’

The race was followed by an awards ceremony on the beach, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three male and female finishers in each competitive age-group, as well as T-shirts, pizza, and Gatorade.

After the awards ceremony, representatives from Sagicor made a generous donation to the Sister Islands Swim Club to promote swimming in the Sister Islands.

MLA Moses Kirkconnell, a strong supporter of the CNB Half Mile Sea Swim was on hand to witness the friendly competition and assisted with the awards presentation.

Kirkconnell noted afterwards how pleased he was to see the swim take place, and was looking forward to next year’s sea swim, in which he hoped to participate as a swimmer.

The Sister Islands Swim Club and the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association thanked major sponsor Cayman National Bank, Moses Kirkconnell, Jackson Enterprises, Complex Services and Progressive Distributors for their generous support of the event.