Sea Swim 2014: ‘Let a thousand Flowers bloom’

If it is true that one man, or woman, can make a difference (and we believe it is), think of the difference a family can make – especially if it’s the Flowers family, which for 22 years has been hosting the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim. The event has now grown into one of the top dozen or so open-water swimming competitions in the world.

(Of course, the Flowers family has literally “built Cayman” with the products of its block factory (“Toughest block on the rock”), led Cayman into the world of healthy eating (fresh fish, just-picked local produce) at its Brasserie restaurant and market, and enhanced Cayman with its magnificent office park called Cricket Square. And then, there is Flowers Bottled Water, FADS, an aviation security, cargo and baggage handling company which provides services at the airport, “Going Green,” a company producing and promoting energy efficient products and solutions, and let’s not forget the filmmaking projects of Frank E. Flowers, who is bringing his talents and carrying the banner of the Cayman Islands to Hollywood.)

But today, we would like to sing the praises, loudly, of the Sea Swim, its organizers, especially Mr. Frank Flowers and his daughter Dara Flowers-Burke, the hundreds of volunteers and the many generous sponsors who combined to make Saturday’s event the most successful to date.

Nearly 900 swimmers and more than their numerical equal in spectators converged on Seven Mile Beach for what has become perhaps the island’s premier annual sporting event. Even recent weather forecasts (“30 percent chance of afternoon showers”) never stood a chance. The skies remained blue, the waters calm and turquoise (perfect for racing – and photography) – and reasonable breezes to mitigate the mid-June temperatures.

At the awards ceremony on stage, the Hon. Osbourne Bodden was introduced as “Minister of Sports,” but he could just as easily been called on by his twin title of “Minister of Health.”

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While far too many individuals, from youngsters to oldsters, in Cayman are unhealthily obese, the physiques of literally hundreds of swimmers gave us both hope and inspiration. If you want to know what you “should” look like, take a gander at Cayman’s Olympian brothers Brett and Shaune Fraser. (They were getting their pictures taken at the Cayman Compass “photo tent,” and one onlooking female wanted to know if she could get a wall-size print for her home!)

In addition to the Frasers, Olympians were on hand in abundance. We’ll mention just three from the crowd to give you an idea of the stature this sea swim has achieved: Ian Crocker, five-time Olympic Medalist (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze); Brooke Bennett (3 gold, 1 silver); and Megan Jendrick (2 gold, 1 silver). Jendrick has set 27 American records and four world records. She is a 10-time U.S. National Champion and was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

What makes the Flowers Sea Swim even more special is that 100 percent of the registration proceeds are donated to “Feed Our Future,” an organization that provides meals to needy Caymanian students. 

Pinnacle Media and the Cayman Compass are pleased to applaud – and to sponsor – the efforts of so many who are doing so much good for these islands.

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