Brac to Little Cayman Sea Swim

| 21/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Sister Islands sports news(CNS): A group of seven swimmers crossed the 5-mile stretch of ocean between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman last Sunday, the first time someone has made the crossing between the Sister Islands under their own steam for 23 years. The group left the western point of Cayman Brac at 7:20 am on Sunday 18 April and reached Point of Sand on Little Cayman three hours and 20 minutes later at 10:40 am in the first Sister Islands Sea Swim (SISS). The swim was organised by two young Cayman Brac men, Felix Ebanks, aged 19 (right) and Matthew McKinley, aged 20 (left), who were joined by five swimmers from Grand Cayman, all of whom who took part in the 800 metre Cayman Brac Sea Swim the day before.

Justly proud of their accomplishment, Ebanks and McKinley said they have trained since March 2009 – at least 400 metres each day on weekdays in the mornings, 800 metres on weekends and 4 miles once a month, along with personal daily workout routines. “The sea swim was fairly easy. We did have one problem though, we didn’t see the sharks many other Brackers promised we’d see!” Ebanks joked.

Cayman Islands News, Sister Islands Sports NewsKate Alexander, Joy Yeatman , Alex Harling, Andrea Roach and Bill McFarland joined the two Brackers for the marathon swim. They were accompanied by two safety boats, including the Department of Environment vessel captained by Marine Officer Robert Walton. The boats were stocked with supplies of Gatorade and water for the swimmers, who stopped only three times for breaks along the way. (Photo by Tishel Watler; Ebanks and McKinley reach Point of Sand, LC)

The first recorded swim between the islands was completed by Jeff Miller, who finished in a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes on 2 May 1987. “I think it is absolutely spectacular that they’d take up that challenge and conquer it. What a fantastic accomplishment for them and I am really pleased to hear that there are those around still that find that type of challenge appealing enough to try,” Miller said.

The first Sister Islands Sea Swim was sponsored by the DoE, MLA Moses Kirkconnell, PoPo Jeb’s Pizza and Little Cayman Beach Resort. Ebanks and McKinley hope to make SISS an annual event and will be looking for more participants and more sponsors next year. (Photo below by Tishel Watler: Ebanks and McKinley still have energy after the swim)

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Sports News

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  1. J.L. Ebanks says:

    Congratulations to all the swimmers.  I think it is a fantastic idea to make it an annual event.

  2. Jeff Miller says:

    Hey Congratulations to you all for your super swim!  So glad that you all took up this challenged and stomped it!  Maybe we should think about making it a round trip!!!!!

    Welcome to the club!!!!!!

    • FelixEbanks says:

       Haha, Whoa! Thank you!! haha Glad to be apart of it!!!

      I never thought I’d ever be able to talk to talk to the guy who started it all!! My father told me soo much about u!! Seriously, this is a pleasure!! Haha A round trip?? Some might say that swimming there is enough but I Like it!! haha!! I think we could do that, why not!?!



  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s been quite a few years since the first feat – it’s a great accomplishment and when the Ministry of tourism gets on board, the entire weekend (half mile sea swim organized by the Hundts included) could be a great national and international attraction.

  4. Felix Ebanks says:

    Thank you all for your support!!

    Please post this on your facebooks if you have 1, so that the word may spread! the more it does the better it’ll be next year!!

    Thank you guys for ur support again!! This was trully a dream come true and with the help of everyone this will continue to grow and become bigger each year!

  5. Gregory says:

    Geez guys…….. 20 comments on something like this? if this was some foolishness it would be 100 anyways Congrats guys good job!

  6. Richard N. Parson says:


  7. Anonymous9 says:

    OMG!!!!  How COOL is that!!!

    You guys are THE BOMB!!!

    I have a feeling with this publicity that next years event will be much anticipated and largly participated.

    Where the heck was Cayman27??!!  Next time, eh!


  8. Anonymous says:

    Big hip hip horay.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This event should have been filmed and posted on the internet as swimming to Little Cayman from the Brac, whilst a short distance, is certainly not the best ‘venue’ for such a long swim to occur.

    I have crossed the ‘bogue’ many times in a boat- and had 2 or 3 minor panic attacks because the sea was so rough.

    But at my age, I would never think of even attempting to make the swim, much less doing it. Just the thought of such a swim is making my arms cramp already. 🙂

    Good job guys and I hope that you are given more support next year and for the years to come. Ministry of Sports- I/We hope to see you onboard endorsing this next year!!

    • FelixEbanks says:

      I agree that this should have been filmed but sadly it could not be done at the time as it was a "rushed" event. lol. (with a time like 3:20 it’s pretty apparent, haha.)

      This comment Truly meant A lot and will act as a huge push to continue the swim Next Year.. and the years to come!!

      Thank you, Again!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    These swimmers are cool. Brac should be proud!


    The community should give massive support to these swimmers in their next fundraising effort.

  11. Kay Bellino says:

    Matthew and Felix – We are so proud of you for organizing and completing the swim. It’s so good to see our young men recognized for a positive, wholesome activity!! Keep up the good work!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done to all swimmers!

    Lead by example Matthew and Felix. Inspire other young people in the  Cayman Islands to get involved with swimming, sports and other positive activities. Positivity is key!

    Brackers are proud of unna–again well done.


    Quincy Brown 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where’s your back flip Bill? 🙂 Good job swimmers!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to the young Brackers and the not so young Grandies!!

  15. Anonymous says:



    • FelixEbanks says:

       Oh it will!! this was just the promotion of the event next year we’re hoping for it to be bigger and better!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations everybody!! Yay Andrea and Alex!!!  🙂

    These folks also swam the North Sound a couple of weeks ago too, to raise money for cancer research. Awesome!



    -Our support goes out to you, from you fellow Montessorians.


  17. Cleva says:

    Congrats to all the swimmers, special congrats to Miss Andrea Roach, a teacher at Montessori By The Sea, Go Miss Andrea Go

  18. Anonymous says:

    It’s good to see this bright story from these truly great youths.

    Now let’s get the politicians to try this from Grand Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thumbs up to both of you and not to forget to thank our wonderful representative Capt Moses K. He always seem to brighten the Island

  19.  Great job everyone…and a big Congratulations to Felix and Matthew for getting this first CB to LC swim underway.  Here’s to many more!

    • Matthew McKinley says:

      Thanks, Mike and Judy! We all had a blast doing the swim, Felix and I are still in awe of finally accomplishing the dream of  the S.I.S.S…we’ve done it now, and see it happening again next year with many prayers for as good of weather as we had on that day…truly a miracle and dream come true!

      • Anonymous says:

        My apologies! CNS I accidentally hit the "thimbs down" button. Could you please undo by one???

        I agree with this young man and would love to see this become a part of our culture and tourism product. Good job guys!

        CNS: Sorry, we can’t undo the thumb votes, but I think this comment will rectify it.

  20. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Great to see young people doing positive things!

  21. JEB says:

    Great job to all the swimmers.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Great job guys.