Admittedly a lot of local sporting
events are competing with the 2010 World Cup for attention. One of the biggest
meets caught up in that tussle is the Flowers Sea Swim.
Arguably Cayman’s biggest open
water swim event takes place this Saturday at Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach.
In its 18th year the one mile race targets swimmers of all ages and ability
levels. As in years past all proceeds from the event benefit a local charity;
for the second consecutive time the lucky beneficiary is the Sunrise Adult
Saturday’s meet is the brain child
of local businessman Frankie Flowers (owner of the Flowers Group responsible
for Flowers Bottled Water) who usually takes part in the race with his daughter
One of the notable changes this
year is that, for safety reasons, there is a limit of 800 entrants. As
Flowers-Burke states the restriction speaks to the popularity of the event.
“It’s so exciting for us to reach
this level of success. We have listened to the swimmers since year one, finding
out what they enjoy most about the event, what they want most from the race.
And every year, the participation level makes a big jump. We are so lucky to
have such amazing volunteers – people that have been working hard on the race
for many years and help improve it with their knowledge and experience. And our
sponsors have been so generous, helping us to give out such fantastic random
prices, and amazing goody bags. And we are getting a stronger reputation
internationally as a must-do swim. We have such perfect conditions in Cayman
for an open water event – and one that is professional and competitive as well
as friendly and encouraging to recreational swimmers. We are already looking
forward to our 20th year in 2012 for an even bigger and better event.”
Another wrinkle this time around is
the presence of a swim training company called Total Immersion. Flowers-Burke
states the business can enhance swimming’s popularity. “We are really pleased
that Total Immersion will be offering an open water swim clinic during race
week. This clinic is a great way for people to improve their sea swimming
skills. Another added feature this year is a Friday night pasta dinner at the
Brasserie. It’s only $10 per person and it’s a great way to meet other swimmers
and enjoy the excitement of the event.”
Like previous years a number of
prizes are on offer for the race. All swimmers who finish the race receive a
medal, goody bag and refreshments at the finish and a number of impressive
give-aways are available. Flowers-Burke gave more details about the prizes.
“US$25,000 will be awarded to the
swimmer(s) who breaks the record for the world’s fastest recorded ocean mile.
US$5,000 is awarded for setting a new event record. Across the men’s and
women’s divisions that is a total of US$60,000. Again this year we have
fabulous prizes from all of our sponsors. We will be giving away airline
tickets to Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Brazil, Dublin and Australia plus a
Caribbean cruise. We also have Cayman Airways vouchers (over 60) along with
restaurant, water sports, and boutique vouchers, cell phones and the Flowers
special prizes, which are a secret until race day.”