The annual Flowers Sea Swim is back on, albeit in a significantly scaled-down version.

“We thought that now that Cayman is free of the coronavirus, it would be a good idea for people to come together and celebrate these past long couple of months in a safe and responsible manner,” said Dara Flowers Burke, an organiser of the sea swim.

Now in its 28th year, the one-mile open-water race, which is held on Seven Mile Beach, has become a mainstay on the aquatic calendar. Each year, the race attracts more than 1,000 swimmers, including local and international Olympians. However, Flowers Burke said this year the event will see only a fraction of its usual turnout.

“We are taking every precaution to protect our swimmers, volunteers and supporters, so this year we’ve decided to limit the number of participants to 200,” she said.

“While the event will be reduced in scope, we feel it is essential to honour what has become a beloved tradition, as our society endeavours to create a new normal,” said Frank Flowers Sr. in a statement issued earlier today.

In order to secure one of the 200 spots, local participants must apply online. Flowers Burke said the spots will be filled as the applications are received.

“We’ve had tremendous support from our sponsors and local swim clubs over the years, and so there are some spots reserved for them, but the majority of the 200 spots will be done as equitable as possible, on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said.

Further to the reduction of swimmers, this year’s sea swim will also see the cancellation of the 3K and 5K races. International swimmers are expected to return to the 2021 race.

“Anyone currently registered for those events may have their registration rolled over into the 2020 one-mile swim or over to next year, when the 3K and 5K events are scheduled to return,” organisers said in a statement.

The proceeds of the event will be donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity.

“For those who aren’t able to swim with us, but would like to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity, they can make a donation to us that will then be passed on,” said Flowers Burke.

The race will be held on Saturday, 3 Oct., beginning at 3:30pm at The Ritz-Carlton. To register, click here.

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