Cayman to slather on sunscreen for world record

Cayman beachgoers will have a chance to make history by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the “most simultaneous sunscreen applications,” at the Flowers Sea Swim on June 14. 

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is attempting to break this set a new world record to help raise awareness of skin cancer. 

“We want everyone to know more about [skin cancer] and the simple things we can all do to prevent it. We need to raise awareness that skin cancer is a serious issue in Cayman and throughout the beautiful sunny Caribbean,” said Jennifer Weber, operations manager of the Cancer Society. 

Ms. Weber said she feels confident Cayman can beat the record currently set at 1,143 by Corinda State High School in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 

“If everyone is willing to do something to stand up to cancer and participate in this very public demonstration, we’ll break a world record and be on our way to garnering attention for this important cancer,” said Ms. Weber. 

She said Frank Flowers, the founder of Flowers Sea Swim, is enthusiastic about the effort to awareness of skin cancer at the open water event, which is a mile swim starting at 2:30 p.m. from the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website, “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.” 

It also points out that the sun’s strongest rays are usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

Ms. Weber highlighted some of the health risks posed from unprotected exposure to sunlight.  

“Skin damage from sunlight builds up with continued exposure, whether sunburn occurs or not. In addition to skin cancer and sunburn, other effects can include wrinkling, premature aging and, in time, an almost leathery appearance of the skin,” said Ms. Weber. 

“Sunscreens play an important role in a total program to reduce the harmful effects of the sun, along with limiting sun exposure and wearing protective clothing,” she added. 

The charitable organization will follow the Guinness World Record guidelines to ensure numbers are tallied accurately.  

“We are going to do our best to satisfy every requirement. We will have two notaries provide signed affidavits,” she said, adding that they will also seek help from local media “to make sure we have video footage and high-quality photos” needed. 

The Cancer Society is also asking participants to capture back-up photographs and videos to help ensure the event qualifies for the record.  

“If we can’t quantify the number of people and show visuals of it, we can’t break the record,” said Ms. Weber.  

She said sponsor Ocean Potion will provide all sunscreen for the event, which will take place at 3:45 p.m. June 14, immediately after the sea swim and before the prizes are awarded. 

For more information, contact the Cayman Islands Cancer Society at www.cics.ky. 

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Local comedian Mike Powell also known as”The Big Kahuna” gets lathered up with sunscreen by Jennifer Weber at the Flowers Sea Swim in 2012. PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD.
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