Bad weather in October forced organizers of the CUC 800-meter, open water swim to postpone the event, which is now scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Governors Beach.
This marks the 30th year of the annual swim, said Neil Murray, spokesman for the Caribbean Utilities Company.
Organizers have bumped up the level of prizes that will be raffled off among participants after the swim. Mr. Murray said there will be five $200 gift vouchers for Cayman Airways flights among the prizes.
This is not the only swimming competition that CUC helps support. “We’re also a sponsor of the CARIFTA swim team,” Mr. Murray said, referring to the Caribbean Free Trade Association Swimming Championships held annually in the region. “We’ve been doing that for close to 20 or 25 years.”
He said supporting such events is a way for the company to focus on Cayman’s young people.
“It’s one of our primary focuses for youth sponsorships,” he said.
Sandy Hew, who heads the booster club for the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association, said funds raised at this and other CIASA events go back toward aquatic sports and the development of aquatic sports directly.
That includes, she said in an email, “the cost of sending the Cayman Islands national teams to international events such as CARIFTA, Island Games, CAC Games, to supporting the training of our pool officials and coaches, aquatic equipment, clinics for swimmers and officials, [and] international federation fees to note a few.”
Ms. Hew said the event is meant to be open to everyone, from kids dipping their toes into open water for the first time, to competitive Olympic swimmers.
The swim has changed over the years. Previously, the course ran from Public Beach to Governors Beach, or vice versa, depending on the current. Now it is a loop around buoys off Governors Beach. It also was not always a metric event.
“It was initially a half mile,” Mr. Murray said of the promoted distance. Several years ago, he said, CIASA changed the length of the swim to meters. Three years ago, a shorter 400-meter distance was added for children 12 and under.
Although he has helped promote the event for a number of years, Mr. Murray says no one should expect to see him in the water on Saturday.
“That’s hard, man,” he said of the swim. “I’ll stick to organizing.”
Participants are requested to print and fill out an entry form before coming to the race. Registration is from 3-3:45 p.m. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children for the 800-meter race. For CIASA members, the fee is $15 for adults and $10 for children. The entry fee for the 12 and under 400-meter race is $10.
Details are at www.caymanactive.com/cuc800m/info.