‘Frasier’ star returns for Flowers swim

Actor Kelsey Grammer approaches the stage to speak at the Raise the Roof gala and fundraiser in 2018. - Photo: Stephen Clarke

Actor Kelsey Grammer is returning to Cayman for the Flowers Sea Swim, according to event officials. And this time, said organiser Frank Flowers, Grammer is expected to take to the water for the 15 June event.

“He’s going to swim this year,” said Flowers, a well-known Cayman entrepreneur, who is mounting the event for the 27th year.

The mile-long swim has become one of Cayman’s top annual events, drawing competitors from as far away as Australia and raising tens of thousands of dollars ($64,000 last year) for charity. This year, the funds will go to the Special Olympics Cayman Islands.

Grammer was the keynote speaker at last year’s gala preceding the swim, where the Cayman Islands Crisis Center, the 2018 charity recipient, was honoured. The actor stayed around and spoke during the awards presentations after the sea swim.

While they may not enjoy the recognition of the ‘Frasier’ and ‘Cheers’ star, the swim will be attended by other celebrities as well, mostly in the form of elite swimmers, including Olympic medalists, such as Anthony Ervin, Keri-anne Payne and Beth Botsford, world champion open water swimmers, including Alex Meyer and Richard Weinberger, paralympics stars Jessica Long and Rebecca Meyers, and a slew of Cayman Islands Olympians.

And, of course, Flowers himself.

“I’ve done all of them,” said Flowers, 71. “Each year, you get older and slower. I’m in good shape, thank the Lord, but I’m not going for the record.”

Flowers said he expects to fill all 1,000 spots available for the mile event.

In addition to that swim, the Flowers event also hosts two longer distance swims on 17 June. In past years, there has been both a 5K and 10K swim. That is changing this year, with the shorter distance moving to a 3K. Both are UANA Masters sanctioned events.

Flowers said the change to a 3K was made to make it more attractive to masters distance swimmers. The fact that more than 80 people have signed up, he said, shows it was a good move.

“The 5K takes a lot more training,” Flowers said. “The 10K is an Olympic event and we want th 10K left in for (elite swimmers).”

One of the most popular features of the swim are the prizes that are given out to race participants on a lottery basis. This year, Flowers said, in addition to airline tickets and hotel stays, some of the top prizes include a gas barbecue grill, iPhone XRs and vouchers for stem cell therapy.

Registration cost is US$60 for the one-mile event and US$80 for either the 3K or 10K.

Visit flowersseaswim.com for more information.