LFCT @ Work
Swim For Hope
13 April 2015
14 Seasoned open water swimmers took part in the epic Swim for Hope around the notorious Cape Point yesterday, April 13th, after a prolonged standby period.
The Cape Point rounding, which is widely regarded as one of the most extreme open water swims in the world, was done in support of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, a local charity that offers support to children with cancer and their families. The group of 14 swimmers entered the water at Diaz Beach at 11:30, and this late start was due to thick fog around Cape Point. Heading toward the Point, swimmers had a relatively good start, despite the icy water, which, for the entire 8.5km, never rose higher than 13° Celsius. Little did the swimmers know what lay ahead?
Just beyond Cape Point, the wind direction changed and wind strength picked up, creating choppy waters, which makes it extremely difficult for the swimmers, as water is thrust into their faces every time they lift their faces to breathe. The notorious Cape Point currents constantly pulled at the swimmers, and when the swimmers navigated around the Point, they were greeted by a thick bank of fog, having to rely heavily on commands and guidance from the experienced support boat skippers.
Nonetheless, 13 of the 14 swimmers successfully completed Swim for Hope, with the event founder, Carina Bruwer, succumbing to severe hyperthermia after 1 H45M in the water, having completed 6km of the 8.5km route. She was pulled from the water by her support crew, taken to land, and has made a full recovery. Anthony Pearse, who set the current Cape Point record at 1H41 during Swim for Hope 2014, sped around the Point, and even in the adverse conditions, managed to finish in 1H46. Brenton Williams, a seasoned open water swimmer from the Eastern Cape, completed the first ever rounding of Cape Point in the taxing and least swum in open water, Butterfly Stroke, exiting at Buffel’s Bay in 3H33. Kendal Wright, who partnered with Williams, and swum freestyle, became the youngest open water swimmer to round Cape Point, and with this extreme swim under his belt, it was a privilege for this Grade 12 Grey High School learner to swim for youngsters Fighting cancer. Maura Sanderoff, a childhood cancer survivor, having lost her left leg due to cancer at age 16, finished in an emotional and exhausted 4H40.
Other finishers were Anthony Sellmeyer and Richard Child, both in 3H35, Neil Ralphs in 2:25, Clinton le Sueur and Charl Cilliers in 2H36, Martin Vleggaar at 2H48, Colin Gluch in 3H12, Johan Wegner in 2H40 and Lindsay de Kock, who braved the extreme conditions for 4H53.