Codie Grimsey is the latest high-profile swimmer to compliment Cayman’s biggest open water event.
Grimsey, 22, won the 2012 Flowers Sea Swim last Saturday ahead of some 837 swimmers. The Australian was the top finisher in a time of 18 minutes and 39 seconds.
He states the event was world-class.
“I’ve done swims all around the world and this one is is up there as one of the best,” Grimsey said. “It’s a wholseome event, the beaches are amazing and I’m honoured to be part of it this year.”
Grimsey is arguably Australia’s top open water swimmer after breaking onto the scene in 2010. He completed the one-mile swim along Seven Mile Beach that stretched from The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to Royal Palms. Some 900 people registered for the swim, a new record for the event.
An Olympic hopeful, Grimsey had to fend off some worthy challengers in the end as Florida Gator Yoelvis ‘Joey’ Pedraza was second in 18.41, Illinois native Josh Kercheval was third in 20.44 and Cayman’s own Geoffrey Butler was fourth in 21.10.
The top female finisher was Aussie Luane Rowe in 21.17. She beat out Americans Eney Jones (22.29), Rada Owen (22.41) and Cayman-based Lexie Kelly (23.26).
Grimsey states it was not an easy race to win.
“This is my first time in Cayman and the swim currents were against us. It was very hard. The sun was also very hot and it was a tough day on Saturday. Compared to Australia, the water is very clear but it’s much hotter, which made it harder.”
Swim organizers Frank Flowers and daughter Dara Flowers-Burke celebrated the swim’s 20th year by bringing in Olympic swimmers from around the world. Grimsey was among some 15 swimming figures for the event, with the others being Jamaican Janelle Atkinson-Wignall, Brit Darren Mew, Australian couple Chris and Penny Palfrey, Americans BJ Bedford, Ian Crocker, Rada Owen, Scott Goldblatt, Steve Munatones, Gary Hall Junior and Senior, Kaitlin Sandeno, Italian Paolo Cerizzi and Cayman’s own Heather Roffey.
The swim had a clear Olympic theme, complete with school kids waving flags for various countries at the closing ceremony.
Grimsey states he plans to return to Cayman in the future.
“I’ll put it on my calendar and I definitely plan to come back one year.”