Cayman’s One Mile Sea Swim: 30th. Anniversary, June 23, 2015
by Ann Stafford, a founder member of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association
Cayman’s first One Mile Swim Swim was held on June 23, 1985.
1970’s Swim Meets held in the sea
In the early 1970’s the Annual Lions Club Swim Meets were held in the sea. John Stafford, former captain of his school swimming club, encouraged his sons, Peter and John Michael, to swim and sail.Inter-primary school swim meets were held in the Sea View Hotel pool.
1980 First Three Mile Sea Swim
In October 1980 Raglan Roper sponsored and organized a Three Mile Sea Swim during Pirates Week, from the George Town dock to Galleon Beach Hotel. The Pirates Week 3 Mile (later 5K – 3.1 miles) Sea Swim became an annual event.
1985 First One Mile Sea Swim
In 1985, there being no good answer to the question asked by Peter Stafford, a keen swimmer, “Why can’t we have a swimming event shorter than 3 Miles?” the first One Mile Sea Swim was held. It was sponsored by John Stafford and organized by Ann Stafford and the embryonic swimming association, with tremendous help from the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletic Association.
1985 First One Mile Sea
Parents walking along the beach.
L to R: Anne Tyler (Squash), Laurice Fraser, mother of subsequent Olympic swimmers Shaune and Brett Fraser (London 2012 Olympics) and Louise Leslie (Squash).
1985 Winner of the First Cayman Islands One Mile Sea Swim was
The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association was subsequently formed. Reg was its first President.
1985 The First One Mile Sea Swim, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.
L to R: Ann Stafford, Miss Cayman Edith Yates, and James Bettany.
1985 The First One Mile Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands was held on June 23.
It was initiated and sponsored by the Stafford family
and organized with the help of the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletics Association.
L to R: Peter Stafford, John Stafford,
Miss Cayman Edith Yates who presented the trophies,
and John Michael Stafford.
1985 Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association founded (CIASA)
Subsequently, it was suggested that a Swimming Association be established so that it could run its own events. The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association was formed in 1985. Over the years, CIASA added and organized more annual Sea Swims of different distances, including several annual Half Mile (later 800m) events, One Mile, Two Mile and Three Mile Sea Swims (later 5K).
12 founder members October 20, 1985:
Leon Jackson (Cayman Brac – Youth and Community Worker), Rosalind Wilson (Cayman Brac – Spot Bay Primary School Primary School Deputy Headmistress, Clare Joy, Gerry Harper (P.E. teacher), Derek Banks, (cartograpgher), Reg Koster (High School teacher), Alfred Ebanks (Customs Officer), Jan Pereira (Primary School teacher), Peter van B. Stafford (Law student), P. Ann van B. Stafford, Laura Ribbins (Fitness and Aquatics instructor), Douglas Bickerton (High School teacher)
CIASA Directors and Officers: March 20, 1986
President: Reg Koster
Vice-President: Ann Stafford
Secretary: Clare Joy
Treasurer: Tony Hale
Captain: Peter Stafford
Publicity Officer: Sue Hale
CIASA is the recognized Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC.
1986 Lions Aquatic Centre 25 meter pool opened
the largest pool on the island.
1986-1992 Lobster Pot One Mile Sea Swim
In 1986 the 2nd. Annual – 1st. Lobster Pot One Mile Sea Swim was held. The Lobster Pot restaurant sponsored the swim for 7 years, then in 1993 Flowers took over the sponsorship of the 9th. annual One Mile Sea Swim.
1993 to present – Flowers One Mile Sea Swim
In 1993 the 9th. Annual one mile swim became the 1st. Flowers One Mile Sea Swim, sponsored by the Flowers family.
The Cayman Islands, located in the beautiful Caribbean Sea with crystal clear waters, white sands and warm weather all year, is the perfect location for outdoor water sports. Over two decades ago, against such an ideal backdrop, the tradition of the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim began. As the event swims into its 23rd year on June 13, 2015, we invite you to participate in what has come to be considered a must-do event for open water aficionados and has been named one of the World’s Top 13 Open Water Swims.
The Flowers Sea Swim is Grand Cayman’s flagship sporting event. Last event’s race boasted over 900 registrants. Participants vary in age from 8 to 80 years old and in skill from novices and first-timers to gold medal Olympians and world championship open water specialists from around the globe. The Flowers Sea Swim welcomes Swimmers from all strokes of life!
The unique draw of the Flowers Sea Swim is not only its flawless course conditions along Cayman’s beautiful Seven Mile Beach, but the numerous random prizes. The race is the world’s richest open water event with over $100,000 in cash and random prizes. The odds to win a random prize are 1-in-5 and previous giveaways have included blackberries, Ipad’s, hotel stays, and dozens of airline tickets to premier destinations such as Miami, New York, Panama, Rome, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, London, Dublin, Rio De Janerio, and Toronto. All finishers receive a fantastic t-shirt and goody bag filled with prizes and surprises!
The Walk & Watch program will also be offered again. Ideal for the non-swimmer who wants to be able to take part in the excitement of the Flowers Mile and contribute to a worthy cause at the same time.
All registration proceeds are donated to the Special Olympics, Cayman Islands