Pirates 5k will get the Flowers touch

The Pirates Week 5k Open Water
Swim, one of Cayman’s longest running and lengthiest swims, is getting a
welcome makeover from tireless promoters Frank Flowers and his daughter Dara
Flowers-Burke.

The Flowers have made the annual
Flowers One Mile Swim in June Cayman’s premier sports event and now they will
spice up the Pirates’ Week 5k on 13 November. It starts at 8am in a loop course
from Tiki Beach to the Hyatt and back. There is an alternative course planned
for South Sound if the waters are too choppy to ensure the swim does not have
to be cancelled. There will be lots more prizes than previous years and some
world class open waters swimmers will be enticed to help raise the profile and
credibility.

Mark Matthews, president of the
Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association, is pleased with the added support.
He said: “We hope to make the Pirates 5k a premier open water event both for
local swimmers and swimmers from further afield. Let’s face it, there are not
many places in the world like Seven Mile Beach where you can enjoy the breathtaking
underwater scenery as you race in crystal clear waters. Five kilometres is a
comparatively long sea swim and, consequently, the race is geared more towards
experienced and competitive swimmers but we would encourage all decent swimmers
to get training and join us for what will undoubtedly be a great event.

“Frankie and Dara are a dynamic duo
and they bring much enthusiasm and energy to open water swimming in Cayman. The
One Mile Flowers Sea Swim, which is ably supported by the swimming association
and a whole raft of volunteers, is a world class event. By having the Flowers
family on board for this swim, I am positive that they can bring their
experience and flair to this event and turn what is already a good race into a
great one.  Jim Fraser, father of Olympic
swimming aces Shaune and Brett, said: “I along with many others share the view
that Cayman is a prime destination to hold sanctioned 5K swims that make up
FINA’s Open Water Calendar.  In early
2004 Cayman had just secured the right to host the World Open Water Swimming
Championships, which were to occur in 2006 but obviously had to give up the
opportunity due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. Cayman is
well equipped to handle open water events and one only needs to look at the
success that we enjoy in your open water swim schedule highlighted by the
Flowers One Mile Swim.”

Matthews will be doing the Pirates
swim and hopes to draw in at least one of his family. “I will definitely swim
it. My 12-year-old son, Michael, is a good swimmer but I am not sure he will
fancy 5k!  My training is very
inconsistent. I swam three or four times a week for a couple of months leading
up to the Flowers swim in the summer but have done nothing since. I need to get
back into some regular training even if only once or twice a week if I am to
swim at any reasonable level in the 5k. I have been relying on my training of
years gone by for too long now and it shows.

“I have swam in it at least four or
five times since I arrived in Cayman in early 2000. My best result was fourth
in the men’s division in both 2000 and 2001 (something like fifth or sixth
overall) but that was when I was fitter and training more regularly.

“For first timers in this event, I
would recommend that they put in some regular training for at least a couple of
months before the race and preferably longer. The swimming association has a
number of 800m open water races between September and the Pirates 5k so I would
also encourage prospective competitors to use those races for training
purposes.”

Entry is CI$20 and around half the
proceeds will go to the Sunrise Adult Training Centre.

* Anyone interested in swimming,
either in a swimming pool or open water, should also visit www.ciasa.ky.

SPORTSPirates5kswimSTORY

The Flowers Mile Sea Swim is Cayman’s biggest sports event.
Photo: Ron Shillingford
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