Another Pirates Week tradition was carried out – the KPMG sponsored Pirates Week 33rd Annual 5K Sea Swim – and it was a huge success.
The pristine beauty of the sea and beach in the early morning light made the huge turnout glad they had made the effort. Open water swimmers around the world mostly dream of such conditions.
In the lineup, starting at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites was the multi-world open water champion Emily Brunemann, other visiting swimmers from the U.S. and Jamaica, and local club swimmers and masters.
Also among the 71 participants were local regulars Michael Lockwood and veteran Victor Thompson, who has not missed a 5K sea swim yet.
There were also first-time 5K swimmers Jade Barnes, Zororo Mutomba, Holly Stradling, Jordan Crooks and Zachary Moore, all 11 years old.
Elana Sinclair, Emma Vandendries, Audrey Weber and Matthew Penner are 12-year-olds who swam. Samantha Rowland, 13, also gave it a go for the first time.
Other masters included Adrien Royston, Peter Stafford, Bill “Tarzan” McFarland, Andrea Roach, Sally Poole and William Balderamos.
To officiate this swim, Denny Ryther from the U.S., the head of Open Water Swimming, overlooked and refereed the swim at his favorite place for these type of events.
Brunemann was the inevitable winner, in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 46 seconds, followed by Iain McCallum (1:08.09), Chris Dart, a coach at Camana Bay Aquatic Club, then Danielle Boothe, Andrew Smilley and Collis Williams, 43, a masters swimmer from the U.S. Wayne Hannum, 60, finished a respectable 22nd.
Brunemann was the fastest woman in this event three years ago, finishing second overall, so she had plenty to celebrate this time.
There were three swimmers from Jamaica. Zachary Jardine and Darius Smith came in within 1/100 second of each other, with 13-year-old Justin Gay-Semenkoff coming in 17th place.
It was Philippa Roney’s first 5K sea swim, as the result of her husband Jon’s gentle persuasion. Jon Roney also swam.
“Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for their time and effort,” said Philippa Roney. “The conditions were great, and the swim was enjoyable, helped massively by the wonderful support from volunteers on kayaks and paddle boards. I will definitely do the swim next year.”
KPMG volunteers gave out medals at the finish line, kayaked and helped in other areas to make it a successful event. John Ferrari, a partner at KPMG handed out the plaques and prizes.
The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association was grateful to all volunteers who came out and without whose help the event would not be possible.
CIASA also thanked Red Sail Sports for supplying kayaks, Jet Skis and paddle boards and for all sea swim events.
They also appreciate what long-time supporter Flowers Group contributes, as well as Waterman’s for their support through paddle boards and volunteers.
The Cayman Islands Tourism Authority and the Pirates Week Committee were big supporters, donating plaques and prizes.
Sprint courier and photographer Tanya Friedman took the photos, which are posted on Caymanactive. The organizers also thanked Grand Cayman Beach Suites for hosting the event.