By Christopher Tobutt
Butterfield Sea Swim They all lined up on Governor’s Beach, ready for one of the most popular community sea swim events: the Butterfield 800m Sea Swim. What’s really good about it is it is open to anyone of any age, and any ability too, so the novice recreational swimmer gets to swim alongside some of Cayman’s stars and rising stars, many of whom have shone brightly for Cayman in international and regional swim meets, like CARIFTA.
With a big, silvery splash! in the afternoon sunlight, they were off, around the 800m loop and back to the finish line.
Steve Broadbelt Vice President of the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association CIASA who organizes the swim, said, “Today is an open water sea swim, and this This is the eighteenth year that Butterfield has sponsored this event. We do it every May. We have swimmers from as young as eight and nine years old, all the way through to 70, and there’s different categories and different medals and trophies and some swag, and a fun and healthy community day out. We have members of our junior and national swim team that represent the Cayman Islands internationally, so there are some top-level swimmers and some master-swimmers, some triathletes that use this event as a training event, and then just people who love swimming for recreation. So it caters for all ages, all abilities, you don’t have to be a tuned athlete to go in this event
Duke Sullivan, Open Water Director for CIASA, said, “We lost out last year with lock downs and things like that so it’s nice to have all these kids and adults out, having a nice day”.
Jake Bailey, 18, a previous CARIFTA swimmer was first past the finish line. “I think I did well,” he said. Then there were three swimmers battled it out for the second third and fourth place. Liam Henry, 20, said, “It was really fun racing these other guys because I felt like I was the only one here from my group, so it’s fun seeing all these new faces and seeing them grow.”
Raya Embury-Brown, 16, was the first female across the line, but she wasn’t far behind the top boy swimmers, top 5 overall. “I’m very pleased with my swim today,” she said. “I train nine or sometimes ten times a week. Ms Embury-Brown is also a past CARIFTA athlete, and has done Cayman proud on several CARIFTA meets. “CARIFTA’s been cancelled this year, but I am doing a meet in Florida this summer,” she said. Will Sellars, 15, Came in third. “I think I did well. Most likely I could have done better,” he said, also went to CARIFTA in 2019. Either an hour and a half, or three hours. I like swimming.