Swimmers set new Sister Islands crossing record

    Two open water swimmers set a new record crossing the channel between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Saturday.

    Lexie Kelly and Steve Munatones swam the five-mile channel in one hour and 53 minutes. 

    The previous record was set by Jeff Miller in 1987 when he crossed, over a slightly longer route, in two hours and 36 minutes.

    The two swimmers from California were aiming to set a new record, which they anticipate will be broken by Australian marathon swimmer Penny Palfrey as part of her Bridging the Cayman Islands attempt to swim from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman in June this year. 

    Ms Kelly, who is working with the Flowers Group to help organise the annual Flowers Sea Swim, said the swim across the channel went smoothly.

    “It was amazing. It was an ideal place to swim. The water was crystal clear. There was a great support team and Mr. [Frank] Flowers has been very supportive as well. It’s been very exciting,” she said, once she was back on dry land.

    The duo, along with kayaker Richard Clifford from New York and two support boats, set off from West End Point on Cayman Brac shortly after 7am and arrived at the east end of Little Cayman.

    As well as hoping to set a new record, the swimmers were also on a reconnaissance mission for Ms Palfrey, to scope out the route and check the kinds of currents and marine life she can expect to encounter when she does her swim.

    For more on this story, check Monday’s Caymanian Compass.