The East End Surf Challenge was another glorious celebration on jet skiing, excellent fish tea cooking and fostering of community spirit on Heroes’ Day.
The sun shone and for those that made the trek across island to Collier’s Public Beach, it was well worth the trip.
Although jet ski racing remained the signature event, the weekend included numerous other events that celebrate the Cayman lifestyle, from concerts to that most traditional of foods - fish tea. The Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook-Off proved to be as popular as ever.
On Heroes Day it is always fitting to acknowledge the jet ski heroes who Roshad Goff of Tony’s Toys was champion in the pro class with Gary Whittaker second. First in the Super Stocks was Javier Madina adn second Daniel Hydes of WestTec. The Rookie class was won by Javier Madina. The Nyaman title was awarded to Daniel Hydes.
The weekend launched with the Total Togetherness Kick Off Party on Friday at Club 7 and featured top local DJ Von, who along with Eternal Vibes from Miami kept the music pumping. The evening also allowed the Surf Challenge racers to be introduced to the crowd.
The main event of the jet ski racing was run in cooperation with the Cayman Islands Watersports Association and the course was designed for the action to be easily viewable from the beach, so spectators could enjoy the spectacle while still getting a chance to enjoy in the rest of the day’s entertainment. Apart from music and plenty of refreshment, some of the other highlights included hoola hoop dancing, Red Bull drinking competitions and a dancing competition.
The Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook-Off was won by East End Steel’s Billy McLaughlin and Michael Whittaker who received $250. Second were Coors In De Pan’s Joseph Hydes, Jonathan Hyges and Derrick Elliott who got $150. There were four competitors and the other two were arguably just as good. They were Nadine’s Hot Spot of Elvis Green and Deany Spencer and The Originals - Charlie Miller and Eddie Powell.
This year there was an added incentive for the fish tea cook-off winner, as the event forms part of Culinary Month, with the winner receiving apart from $150 a spot at the All Things Cayman booth at Taste of Cayman, bringing the authentic taste of the Eastern Districts to the event.
Music was provided by top DJs Selecta Renegade, DJ Von, DJ Lyn, DJ Atom Skillz and Eternal Vibes from Miami. After the races, the action carried on late into the night as the party continued on the beach.
The main sponsors included Flowers Bottled Water, Vision Marketing/Signs of Paradise, Department of Tourism, What’s Hot, Vibe, Radio Cayman, Red Bull, TUKKA Restaurant and Morritt’s Tortuga.
Shane ‘Nobee’ Edwards is managing director of the Two Frenzied race team and chief organiser of the East End Surf Challenge. This was the twelfth year of it running and the second at Colliers. It used to be at the Heritage Field.
“Overall, I’m thankful we had a good day,” Edwards said. “We had great weather, no one got hurt and there were no fights. This location is better and has a lot more to offer. It is better and safer. At the old place we used to race outside the reef which is too rough.
“The feedback is that it is a great location. The support this year was encouraging from the sponsorship and 90 per cent of the riders said they needed this , liked it and enjoyed the challenge. There will be a DVD out soon of all the races.
“I was very impressed with little Nyaman Daniel Hydes. He’s a young racer with a lot to offer.”