From a distance the gray clouds
looked menacing and reports from as close by as Spotts was that torrential rain
and lightening had brought that area of Grand Cayman to a standstill. So
organisers of the 26th annual Foster’s Food Fair Sea Swim contemplated a 15
minute delay of the start on Saturday afternoon at Governor’s Beach to see
whether the weather gods would turn nasty on one of Cayman’s most established sports
Thankfully, the swim went ahead,
with 147 taking the plunge; 800 metres and half an hour later everyone was
enjoying the post-swim pizza and appreciating the fact that the clouds decided
to descend elsewhere. Kids and adults alike played on the bouncy water features
as they waited for the intrepid swimmers to finish.
Seiji Groome took the honours,
predictably, in a time of 9 minutes 31 seconds, well clear of Geoffrey Butler,
second in 9:46, two seconds ahead of Alex McCallum. Groome retained his title
in a time considerably faster than last year’s. Thirty-two seconds in fact.
Lara Butler, Geoff’s sister was fourth in 10:21, followed by Elliott Vernon,
three seconds behind, then Andrew Smilley (10:33) who finished one second ahead
of seventh placed Danielle Boothe. Coral Tomascik (10:39) was eighth, Joshua
Bain (11:01) was next and there was a tie for tenth between Simon Butler and
Iain McCallum in 11:15.
Amber Myrie was 12th and then came
the grown men, Bill ‘Tarzan’ McFarland, former president of the Cayman Islands
Amateur Swimming Association, had the satisfaction of edging ahead of the present
president, Mark Matthews. “That’s the first time I’ve beaten him,” beamed
“It was my first swim since the
Flowers Swim in June and I hadn’t trained since,” protested Matthews. It did
not detract from McFarland’s satisfaction though so the battle lines have been
drawn for future swims, culminating in the Pirates Week 5k on 13 November.
The Foster family, as always,
turned out in force to back their event. Four swam this time – Taylor, Chi-Chi,
Shane and James – and Woody was there for moral support.
The triathletes were out in numbers
too, limbering up for their big one in November. Likely forerunners like Jasper
Mikkelsen, Pam Travers, Ray Welds, Gill Comins, Celine Macken, Dave Bennett,
Nicola Moore and Sandy Hew all lined up. Governor Duncan Taylor once again
proved his sporting prowess by running the two-mile Fidelity Fun Run in the
morning and doing the swim a few hours later.
Penny McDowall inspired her
students at the Lighthouse School again and Frank Flowers turned up as usual.
Bikini record organisers Avril Brophy and Nicole Wild joined in too. Coach
Jerry Harper kept times and admirable record keeping was done by Tracey Myrie
and Amanda Roberts.
It was another great presentation
of what has become an institution on Cayman’s sporting calendar. No wonder the
weather gods smiled kindly on them.