The 2018 Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands took place last week where the almost 800 swimmer-field drew a wide range of aquatic athletes ranging from novice to Olympian. The open water competition took place off Seven Mile Beach between the Ritz-Carlton and Royal Palms resorts, with the 1-mile competition taking place on June 16th, while the 5k and 10k competitions took place on June 18th.
American distance ace and 2015 open water world champion Jordan Wilimovsky won the men’s mile, as well as the grueling 10k. Gian Franco Turco finished as the top male in the 5k.
Beating out a talented women’s field in the 1-mile race was Stephanie Horner of Canada, who finished 6th overall in that contest. Peru’s Fanny Ccollcca was the fastest female in the 5k, while Horner topped the women’s field once again in the 10k.
Additional notable names among the aquatic mix included Peter Vanderkaay, Clark Burckle, Andrew Gemmell, Emily Klueh, Brooke Bennett, Roland Schoeman, Nadine Day, Kate Ziegler, Ian Crocker and Davis Tarwater.
For 25 years the Flowers Sea Swim has grown from modest beginnings into the largest swim in the Hemisphere. The brainchild of Mr. Frank Flowers Sr, and with the tireless support of his family and the team at the Flowers Group, this unique event, held on the legendary 7-mile beach, has hosted thousands of aquatic enthusiasts from the beginner level to the Olympic Champion.
Every year, the proceeds from the 1 mile swim assist in the efforts of one deserving charity. In years past, the funds from the event have gone to support causes like the Special Olympics, Hurricane Ivan relief efforts and most recently the establishment of a bone marrow registry, inspired by the tragic loss of Mrs. Eve Flowers (the wife of Frank Flowers, Sr) to leukemia. This year’s efforts, will go to the funding of a new women’s shelter in Grand Cayman.
At this year’s event, Mr. Flowers was presented the R. Max Ritter Award by Dale Neuburger of United States Aquatic Sports. The award is given to one who has ‘contributed the most to the advancement of understanding and good will among nations through international participation in amateur aquatic sports.’