Why are some of the world’s best swimmers drawn to the Cayman Islands every year? That’s easy; it’s all due to the Flowers Sea Swim, sponsored by Cayman Airways. Popular with top athletes as well as recreational swimmers, the one-mile swim was named one of the World’s Top 13 Open Water Swims and often accommodates a thousand participants.
Celebrating its 27th year in 2019, the Flowers Sea Swim will take place on June 15. No doubt Cayman’s clear, warm waters set against a backdrop of the award-winning Seven Mile Beach are contributing factors to the success of the Flowers Sea Swim, but it takes a whole lot of organising to pull off such a brilliant swimming gathering.
“It’s such a fun event, and we welcome swimmers with all abilities, from Olympic medal winners to novice swimmers dipping their toes in for the first time,” says organiser Dara Flowers. “It’s a great family day out with fantastic prizes at the end. Non-swimmers can participate in our ‘Walk and Watch’ event, so everyone’s involved.” The event is touted as the world’s richest, with more than $100,000 in cash and random prizes available.
The swim was founded by Dara’s father, Frankie Flowers, who received the R. Max Ritter award — the Nobel Peace Prize of swimming awards — presented each year by United States Aquatic Sports to people who have contributed the most to promoting the sport, a huge deal for the Islands.
Jade Barnes, 17, swam her first Flowers Sea Swim at age 8. “The atmosphere is incredible. Seeing people from all around the world coming to take part in this massive event is really overwhelming, but in a good way,” she explains. All proceeds of Flowers Sea Swim go to the Special Olympics Cayman Islands.
Author: Stephanie Peacock