The Flowers Sea Swim has been around for many years now – a humble acorn that became the mighty tree. Swimmers from all over the world fly here to compete and bask in the hospitality for which the Cayman Islands are famous.
Each year, the group of participants gets bigger, so the Flowers family tries to accommodate as many as possible while keeping it enjoyable for everyone. The limit of 1,100 swimmers has been set for 2016, and even though registration is closed for the One Mile Sea Swim, you can still join in the Walk & Watch or just come along to cheer competitors at the finish line on Saturday.
The Flowers Sea Swim has always been known as a 1-mile open water event, but this is now joined by the newer 5K or 10K sea swims on Monday. The day of rest on Sunday allows ambitious amphibians to participate on both days if they’ve got the stamina.
The Walk & Watch on Saturday allows those not swimming to amble along the beach and keep pace with the swimmers while cheering them on.
In keeping with its tradition of excellence, the Flowers Sea Swim will again be hosting numerous Olympic swimmers, who will attend the Olympic Luncheon on Friday. It’s a great opportunity to get up close and personal with these world-famous medal winners.
Olympic Luncheon – Camana Bay
Friday from Noon-2 p.m.
Meet and have lunch with world famous Olympic athletes Ian Cocker, Peter Vanderkaay, Megan Jendrick (Nee Quann), Brooke Bennett and many others on The Crescent, Camana Bay (just outside of Karoo). The lunch is catered by Abacus restaurant.
Tickets are CI$30 or US$37.50 and can be purchased at the gate; 50 percent of all proceeds will go directly to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (www.cics.ky).
Flowers One Mile Sea Swim – The Ritz-Carlton
Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The Flowers One Mile Sea Swim starts at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and ends at the Royal Palms beach bar.
As ever, there are some incredible prizes to be won, and you don’t have to be the fastest swimmer to get one. From dining certificates to electronics, gifts, gym memberships, travel certificates and unique experiences, the prizes alone are worth signing up for the swim.
With more than US$100,000 in prizes, this is the world’s richest open water event!
Trophies are awarded to the top four women’s and top four men’s finishers. Each swimmer who finishes the race in the allotted time receives a medal.
The winning man and woman each receive a return ticket to defend their title next year.
US$10,000 will be awarded to the swimmer who breaks the record for the world’s fastest recorded ocean mile. US$5,000 is awarded for setting a new event record. The times to beat are (in minutes): Men’s world record: 16:00; Women’s world record: 17:21; Men’s event record: 17:18; Women’s event record: 17:47.
Registration is closed, but supporters can join in the crowd and atmosphere at Royal Palms.
Walk & Watch – The Ritz-Carlton
Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The Walk & Watch option allows non-swimmers to participate in the excitement of this charity event. It is ideal for family members or anyone who wants to be part of a beautiful day on the beach.
The first 100 Walkers to check in on race day receive a T-shirt.
All registered walkers are also eligible for random prizes – and unlike the swimmers, you need not be present to win.
Tickets for the Walk & Watch event are CI$20 or US$25 and can be purchased at the gate.
5K & 10K Swims – Grand Cayman Beach Suites
Monday at 7 a.m.
These newer swims follow in the Flowers tradition, guaranteeing 1-in-5 random prize odds. Trophies will be awarded to male and female first, second and third-place overall winners, and age group certificates will be given to all age group winners.
Competitor numbers are limited to 50 swimmers for the 10K race and 90 for the 5K race, and registration will close on race day, or when the limit is reached, whichever comes first.
Again, supporters can head to the Grand Cayman Beach Suites just to be a part of the crowd.
Tickets for the 5K and the 10K are CI$60 or US$75 each.