Pirates can be sporty too

Pirates Week, the fun-filled time of the year when the Cayman Islands goes events crazy with pirate and nautical themes, has arrived and the calendar is packed with sporting events to keep wenches and buccaneers alike fit and healthy in between the excesses.  

There is an under 12s circuit race for two age groups. The race is on Saturday 17 November downtown. Assemble outside Breezes by the Bay at 8am on the day to sign up, or pre-register at the Pirates Week Office on Thursday 15 November and Friday 16 November from 9am-5pm. Forms are available from the Pirates Week Office or from coach Tyrone Yin at Truman Bodden Track. The race will start at 8.30am. All entrants will receive a medal and a T-shirt and the top three in each age group will receive trophies. 

The circuit will be starting at Breezes by the Bay heading north along Harbour Drive, turning right onto Fort Street, right onto Edward Street and turning right at the Post Office to head on down Shedden Road and then right again to return to Breezes by the Bay. There will be two laps for the Under 10s and three laps for the Under 12s. Sponsored by Ribena. 

The first sporting event of Pirates Week is the always-popular 5K run, on Friday, 9 November, which attracts entrants of all ages and abilities. 

Sponsored by the Ministry of Sport, the 5K Run is organised by the Pirates Week Office in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Athletic Association.  

Unlike many road races which start very early, this on is from 5pm and starts and finishes on Harbour Drive.  

For runners that would like to register early, visit the Pirates Week Office from 9am-5pm on 7-8 November and on Friday, 9 November from 9am-3pm.  

Runners can also register last minute between 3.45pm and 4.45pm on the day at the Bay Shore Mall which is in the immediate vicinity of the start/finish area.  

The first 150 runners will receive a free T-shirt. The race course goes south from Harbour Drive on to South Church Street and into South Sound. It then returns on the same route to the Harbour. 

The run is a great way to feel healthy before the night that promises a great show and fantastic entertainment. It all ends up on Harbour Drive just before the fireworks display so there will already be big crowds around to cheer on their friends, families and favourites. The awards will be presented to the first three runners in each age group plus lots of spot prizes. 

To register before race day, visit piratesweekfestival.com, download the form and email [email protected] Forms are also available at the Pirates Week offices on Shedden Road. 

The Jerry Harper 10K Run is sponsored by KRyS Global and attracts over 150 runners locally and internationally. Organised by the Phoenix Athletic Club and named after the founder, coach Jerry Harper, the race starts at 7am on Sunday, 18 November.  

It starts opposite Governor’s Beach on West Bay Road with the course running into West Bay to Town Hall Road then on to Hell Road turning around at the Devil’s Hangout and returning to West Bay Road. The finish is at The Tiki House on the beach where everyone congregates for a well-deserved breakfast. 

This race is also open to joggers, walkers, and baby carriages. For more information call Jerry Harper at 945-3970. Completed entry forms can be emailed to [email protected]  

The Pirates Week 5K is Cayman’s oldest swimming tradition and takes place from Public Beach on Saturday 10 November.  

Recent world famous swimmers to grace the Seven Mile Beach include, Eva Fabian, Alex Meyer, Olympic Gold Medalist Ryan Lochte, BJ Bedford, Neil Walker, Ian Crocker, Kristi Kowal, and Cayman’s own Brett and Shaune Fraser.  

This year’s star guest is Olympic champ Oussama Mellouli, a Tunisian based in the United States. He is a three-time Olympic medallist and African record holder. Based at the University of Southern California where he completed his education and swam collegiately, Mellouli was the 1500m world freestyle champion in 2009 and won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 1500m freestyle. He won bronze in the 1500m freestyle at the recent London Olympics and also gold in the 10km marathon at the London Games.  

The top three male and female finishers will also receive Pirates Week plaques and there will also be plaques for the top three in the different age groups.  

This year’s race will be a loop course starting at The Westin Hotel on Seven Mile Beach, at 8am (subject to weather conditions). Registration is on the day between 7-7.45am. This swim is a perfect holiday for swimmers and their families, or locals looking for a longer distance race. This year will be the best Pirates Week 5K yet. 

Sponsors of the event are Davenport Development, Pirates Week, Cayman’s National Festival, The Flowers Group and the local open water governing body, Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association, which will be setting up the event course. 

The Stingray Swim Club and Foster’s Food Fair hosts the Mike Lockwood Memorial International Swim Meet from 14-18 November at the Lions Aquatic Centre. As well as local swimmers and teams, there are regular visitors from further afield including Jamaica and the United States. 

The pool competition starts on Wednesday 14 November 5pm with more sessions on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday mornings. It’s going to be both competitive, fun and family-friendly for all ages. The youngsters also get the opportunity to capture some real pirate booty in trophies, medals and ribbons. Meet entry forms are available on the Stingray Swim Club website (www.caymanswimming.com) as well as piratesweekfestival.com. 

The Mickey Mouse Darts Tournament is another well established sporting event, a truly well established Pirates Week tradition, which has been going since the 1980s and is extremely competitive amongst arrow chuckers. 

But what does Mickey have to do with it? Well, it’s not about mice but the name of a special game in which players attempt to land three consecutive darts on the portions of the dartboard with the values 20-12 and also the Bulls Eye.  

The player finishing all of their numbers first and also having the highest numerical score wins. Matches are a best of three series that span across both a singles and doubles competition. 

Held every year on the last day of the Pirates Week activities in Grand Cayman, this year’s event is at the Mango Tree Restaurant on the corner of Shedden Road and Crewe Road, near the airport runway, and is once again sponsored by Budweiser.  

The Mango Tree is one of the largest Caribbean style restaurants in Grand Cayman and has been part of the darts scene for many years. Organised by the Cayman Islands Darts Association, this year’s tournament will commence at 1pm on Sunday 18 November. This is an open tournament; you don’t have to be registered in any league to participate. 

The many sponsors supportive of the Pirates Week sports events included the title sponsors SaxonMG and gold sponsors: Caymanian Compass, Cayman Airways, Cayman 27, Radio Cayman and Department of Tourism. 

Other event sponsors include the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, Davenport Development, KRyS Global, Budweiser, Foster’s Food Fair and Ribena.  

Other sponsors who deserve a mention are: Camana Bay, Margaritaville, Divetech, CUC, The Wharf, Breezes by the Bay, The Westin, Progressive Distributors, Turtle Farm, Build Cayman Ltd, Caybrew, Digicel and Just Sea Foods.  

Bernie Bush, the Pirates Week director, said: “I’m very happy to see that every sporting event held during Pirates Week has grown over the past three years.  

“We now have people coming to our beautiful islands just to run or swim and thanks to sponsors like Davenport Construction and Cayman Airways and people like Frank Flowers and Dara Flowers-Burke we now have an Olympic gold medallist swimming here as well. Special thanks to Cayman Free Press and all those volunteers who have made and continue to give their time and resources to make these events a success.” 

Ayiesha DeCoteau is the marketing manager of Foster’s Food Fair IGA. She said: “Foster’s Food Fair IGA has been supporting community events for over 30 years, giving back to the community is an intricate part of our business.  

“Pirates Week celebrates our heritage and culture and the sporting events that happen during this time is of special significance.  

“We continue to support these events because of the positive impact on the community and we thank the people of the Cayman Islands for allowing us the opportunity to continue supporting these activities.” 

Kenneth Krys of Krys Global, said: “We are delighted to be the key sponsor again of the Jerry Harper 10K Run during Pirates Week.  

“We have been a firm supporter of this event and Jerry Harper in particular over the years and continue to strive to support local sporting organisations.  

“This is an exciting race to round off the Pirates Week festivities in Grand Cayman and should be a must for all those who enjoy running, jogging and walking. We look forward to another hugely successful event.” 

Paul Pearson, director of Davenport Development, said: “Davenport Development Ltd is very proud, once again, to be associated with Pirates Week. We believe it is a wonderful national celebration and this year we are delighted to be sponsors of the 5K open water swim.”  

Frank Roulstone of Budweiser at Cayman Distributors said: “We are pleased to be continuing our long standing relationship with darts and Pirates Week. Budweiser is involved in a number of events throughout the festival but its nice to have a sporting element and we wish all the competitors good luck.” 

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