Courtesy of Denny Ryther, Grand Cayman Island, Cayman Islands.

The Flowers Sea Swims will concurrently serve as the 2017 Unión Americana de Natación Open Water Swimming Championships on June 9th – 12th in the crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches of Grand Cayman.

2017 will see the 25th anniversary of the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim and race visionary Frank Flowers fly in 25 swimming Olympians to attend.

“Last year over 1000 swimmers participated who ranged in ages from 8 to 80 years of age and skill levels ranging from novice swimmers to gold medal Olympians,” reports Denny Ryther. “This is one of the largest races in the Americas as well as being one of the safest. Hundreds of volunteers, including a well-trained rescue staff and an experienced medical staff, make the swims extremely safe.

Participants also receive an excellent goodie bag and are entered into a random drawing (1 in 7 swimmers win). Past prizes include Blackberries, iPads, hotel stays and airline tickets to premier destinations. More importantly, all registration proceeds go to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Last year’s event help establish a bone marrow registry.”

The UANA Championships were added this year that allows swimmers to swim four events in four days. Each of the events includes Juniors (17 and under), Seniors (18 and over) and Masters events. The lead officials have officiated Pan American Game and World Championship events while other officials may come and gain valuable international experience.

Competitors include national team members from Canada and the United States as well as from around the Caribbean and South America. You have an opportunity to gain international racing experience, swim in some of the most beautiful waters in the world and swim with and against Olympians.

Schedule of Events
June 9th: UANA Senior 5 km mixed relay + UANA Junior 2.5 mixed relay + UANA Masters 2.5 mixed relay
June 10th: 25th Annual Flowers One Mile Swim
June 11th: UANA Senior 5 km + UANA Junior 2.5 km + UANA Masters 2.5 km
June 12th: UANA Senior 10 km + UANA Junior 5 km + UANA Masters 5 km

Swimmers may swim up. For instance, a junior swimmer could swim in the senior mixed relay, swim the mile, swim the junior 2.5 km, and the senior 10 km marathon swim.

Cayman Swimming will offer open water swimming clinics for both swimmers and coaches. There will also be plenty of time available to visit some of Cayman’s world-renowned tourist attractions including Stingray City, 7 Mile beach and the Turtle Center.

Officials planning on attending should contact Denny Ryther at dryther13@hotmail.com. This is the first UANA Open Water Swimming Championships since 2006 and the first time that masters swimmers are included.

Currently, Canada, Cayman Islands, Peru, St. Kitts & Nevis, and the USA will send a full contingent of its elite swimmers with additional UANA member nations expected to participate.

For more information, visit here.

Video shows a local report on the 2009 Flowers Sea Swim when Anthony Nesty, Ryan Lochte, and Ian Crocker participated in the 17th Annual Flowers Sea Swim. Photo shows Frank Flowers and his daughter Dara Flowers-Burke.

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