Flowers organizers: Nyad possible for ’14

The organizers of the annual Flowers Sea Swim could include ultra-distance swimmer Diana Nyad in one of their events next year. 

On Monday, Ms Nyad completed a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida without a shark cage on her fifth attempt. Her first attempt was 35 years ago. 

The grueling world record journey took almost 53 hours and attracted media acclaim from around the world.  

Two years ago, Dara Flowers-Burke and her father, Frank Flowers, brought to Cayman Penny Palfrey, another long-distance record breaker, who swam 68 miles from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman in nearly 40 hours.  

Mrs. Palfrey attempted the Cuba to Key West stretch last year but gave up after 41 hours with 26 miles to go because of adverse currents and jellyfish attacks.  

The celebrated annual Flowers Sea Swim in June typically attracts more than 900 swimmers. It is the world’s richest open water sea swim with prizes and giveaways totaling more than $100,000. 

The Flowers swim always attracts some of the world’s best open water swimmers, many of whom are world and Olympic champions.  

Mrs. Flowers-Burke said: “What an incredible achievement both for Diana personally and for swimming. Her story is so inspiring. 

“I am so excited to finally see this dream realized for Diana. On behalf of the Flowers Sea Swim, we would like to offer her a big congratulations.” As for getting Ms Nyad over for an event, Mrs. Flowers-Burke admitted there is a possibility.  

“We’re still in the planning stages of the 2014 Flowers Sea Swim, she would be a great addition,” she said.  

Could Ms Nyad and Mrs. Palfrey have a race or dual event together? 

“What a fun idea,” Mrs. Flowers-Burke said. 

The gruelling world record journey took almost 53 hours and attracted media acclaim around the world.  


Diana Nyad may swim in the Cayman Islands next year. – PHOTO: AP