It promised to make its mightiest splash and that was indisputable.
The annual Flowers One Mile Sea Swim celebrated its 21st staging and truly came of age on Saturday.
A record of nearly 900 people competed in the world’s richest sea swim with more than $100,000 on offer in prize money and giveaways.
From former Olympic champions and world record holders to the youngest children and seasoned grandparents, participants came out in masses for the most popular sporting event in the Cayman Islands.
Caymanian Olympians Shaune Fraser, Andrew MacKay and Heather Roffey raced against world beaters that included Joey Pedraza, Rebecca Soni, Rada Owen, Ian Crocker and Paralympic champion Jessica Long.
Pedraza was the pre-race favourite and he duly won in a tight finish with Jordan Wilimorsky in a course record time of 16 minutes, 52.45 seconds. Wilimorsky finished in 15:52.86.
Third was Brendan Casey three seconds behind and fourth was Scott Summer. First female home was Zsofi Balazs who was fifth overall in 17:49.95.
All registration proceeds will be donated to the Feed Our Future charity, which provides healthy meals to needy schoolchildren in Cayman.
The odds to win random prizes were 1-in-5, including smartphones, hotel stays, restaurant meals, spa treatments and dozens of airline tickets to destinations such as Miami, New York, Panama, Rome, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, London, Dublin, Rio de Janerio and Toronto. The Caymanian Compass was a media sponsor and marketing executive Anne Guerrero accepted a plaque from the organisers for helping promote the event.
Overall, it was another laudable success, organised chiefly by Frank Flowers and his daughter, Dara Flowers-Burke, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday. She is also eight months pregnant, yet still found the time and energy to swim the course.For those with exceptional stamina, the Flowers duo have organised a 5K and 10K swim, starting and ending at Grand Cayman Beach Suites on Monday.