Bridging The Cayman Islands

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Penny Palfrey setting a world record in the Cayman Islands - Image by Spike
World champions Valerio Cleri, Alex Meyer, Petar Stoychev at the 2010 World Championships - Image by Spike
Penny Palfrey setting a world record in the Cayman Islands - Image by Spike
Bridging The Cayman Islands was one of the most ambitious, daring, courageous solo swims in the annals of marathon swimming. The 67.26-mile swim between Little Cayman Island and Grand Cayman Island in the Cayman Islands was successfully completed by Penny Palfrey, one of the world's greatest aquatic adventurers in contemporary times.

Penny is a mother of three, a grandmother of one, and an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, originally from England with dual citizenship of Australia.




Formerly a world-class pool swimmer, Penny has reached her stride in channel swimming as she has set records in the Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel and Santa Barbara Channel as well as completed swims in the Cook Strait, English Channel, Catalina Channel and various other swims from Lake Taupo in Australia to the Cayman Brac Channel in the Caribbean Sea.

The Bridging The Cayman Islands is estimated to take Penny between 30 - 40 hours of non-stop swimming in seas where she will encounter waves, winds, currents and marine life. The swim is organized by Frank Flowers of the C.L. Flowers Group in the Cayman Islands.

The Bridging The Cayman Islands is described as the unimaginable, the unpredictable and the unprecedented.

She will swim non-stop 67.26 miles or 4,840 laps of a 25-yard pool. She will walk into the warm Caribbean Sea from Little Cayman Island in the early morning hours of June 9th and will put her head down and not stop until she climbs on shore on Grand Cayman approximately 35 – 40 hours later.

She will have an 65-foot mother ship with medical staff, media and support crew . She will also be escorted by a second 65-foot boat from Red Sail and a smaller rubber boat. Her husband Chris will be on the 65-foot escort boat with a crew of seasoned support watermen from New York to Hawaii. Penny is sandwiched between the escort boats and a kayaker. Every 30 minutes, Penny will slow momentarily for a hydration, feeding and navigational information. Within 5 – 10 seconds, she quickly down drinks and energy bars and receives information on her distance swum. It is a focused, intense, brief respite that entails extreme coordination between escort boat pilots, her support crew and Penny herself. Then the process begins again. Over and over again. For nearly two straight days. Swimming at a little over 2 miles per hour. No fins, no wetsuits. Just fueled her own incredible stamina and graceful swimming technique.

She may encounter the marine life of the sea. She may experience hyperthemia. She may be stung unmercifully. And she will certainly experience a depth of exhaustion that is only known by a rare few.

She will be covered live through a variety of means – Twitter and live audio feeds directly from her boats.

Penny, formerly a world-class pool swimmer and now known as one of the world’s fiercest adventurers, is from Townsville, Queensland, Australia. She will depend on a lifetime of experiences to get her 67.26 miles as she completes Bridging The Cayman Islands


Marathon Swimming Career


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