Kay and Jay Grant tackle the Flowers Sea Swim open sea event

Last month, a group of Hockessin residents took a long swim for a good cause, in one of the world’s loveliest tropical paradise.

This past June, Hockessin’s Kay and Jay Grant were joined by Hockessin Athletic Center’s Masters Coach Jack Siebold and his wife, Diane, in the Cayman Islands for the 26th annual Flowers Sea Swim.

 The yearly competition is hailed as the island’s “flagship sporting event,” with the 2017 swim attracting over 1,000 registrants, according to the website.

“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 site states.

Proceeds from the swim go to a different local charity each year, with this year’s recipient the nonprofit Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

Already avid swimmers who had competed in the National Senior Olympics in Birmingham, Al., and the Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Delaware senior Olympics, Kay Grant said she long had the goal of an open water swimming race.

“We love swimming as a great way to stay in shape and love that it is something we enjoy doing as a couple,” Kay Grant said. “If you are going to swim an open water event, why not in the Cayman seas? It was really cool to be able to see the fish and other wild life while we were swimming the race.”

The Grants planned and trained for a year in preparation for the swim, hitting the HAC three to four times a week.

While Diane Siebold walked the beach for the event (where she met and chatted with Kelsey Grammar of “Frasier” fame), Jack, Kay and Jay all competed in the event against an estimated 800 other swimmers.

Finishing in the top half bracket out of all the competitors, Jack finished in 31 minutes, Jay in 34, and Kay in 36.

“I can't say enough about what an awesome and memorable experience and event this was,” Kay said. “None of us really enjoy other sports or training so much. I really don't like to sweat when I exercise.”