Cayman’s Olympic icons Shaune and Brett Fraser made a welcome return to their homeland for the CUC 800 metres sea swim on Saturday but it was Alex McCallum who left with the most satisfaction after he split the two.
Shaune won in 10 minutes 42 seconds in a photo finish ahead of McCallum. Brett finished in 10.53. Alex’s younger brother Iain was fourth in 11.11, a second ahead of Simon Butler.
Fastest female was Danielle Boothe, who was 11th overall in 12.21 and second female was Catriona Macrae, a split second ahead of Coral Tomascik who was timed at 12.26 as well.
It was another big turn out for the well established event with Richard Hew, CUC’s chief executive officer, swimming again and watching his daughter Lauren finishing way ahead, in 20th place.
Many familiar faces also competed including Andrew Smilley, Marius Acker, Bill McFarland, Frank Flowers, Richard Moody, Victor Thompson, Penny McDowall and Kerri Kanuga.
Brett said: “It’s great to be back. There’s not a better way to celebrate than doing one of the usual sea swims on a Saturday afternoon.
“We didn’t get the course record because the water was a little choppy and the current was going against us.”
The Frasers are back in light training in Miami and are studying for their grad school exams. They won’t be in competition again until December at the earliest. The next big international meet for them is the Paris Open in April and then it’s the World Championships in Barcelona in the summer.
Their ultimate goal is the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Having reached semi-finals at the London Olympics, their focus now will be to reach finals in Rio.
Brett is focusing more on the freestyle sprints for next year, 50 metres and 100m and possibly 1500m butterfly. “I’ve been improving steadily over the past three years in my events and pretty much the biggest drops have been in the sprints.
“If I put as much focus as I can in those events then only good things can happen.”
Shaune said: “It’s great to be back. I haven’t swum an 800m sea swim here for years. It’s nice to be swimming in beautiful clear water, taking in all the elements of the ocean, something you can’t do in the States or elsewhere in the world.
“I’m really happy that CUC could bring us down for this event. More importantly, we just wanted to come down here and have fun and do as much as we can to give back to the community.
“Eight hundred metres is not really our cup of tea but it’s nice to come out here and winning is always good and more importantly having fun and seeing all my friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. “We’ve had a very warm reception since coming back. Everyone’s very congratulatory. We have the greatest fans here in the Cayman Islands.
“We went to the sprint meet at the Lions pool this morning and just to take pictures with the little kids and sign autographs means a lot to me and Brett and I hope we can keep it up in the future.”
The London Games were Shaune’s third Olympiad. Post-Olympics he is happy to wind down for a while. “Obviously, a break was in store after these Olympics. It’s been a grind for many years now and it’s nice to get our minds clear of swimming and on to other things.
“It’s been a nice change of pace and we’ve been able to do things we couldn’t have done if we were swimming. Four years is a long way away and we’re just taking it day by day and we’ll get back in the swing of things pretty soon.
“Next year I’m definitely going to concentrate more on the 100m freestyle as I did better at that in London and will be working more with a sprint-based coached in Miami and we’ll see where that takes me.”