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Cape Long Distance
Swimming Association
It feels amazing to have done this. To be honest, I was terrified at times but you just have to try to switch your mind off.
- Carina Bruwer | Danger Point
When I get into the water I invite the cold in, put it in a little metal box and leave it there and that's where it stays.
- Theo Yach
The grail of long swims in South Africa is from Robben Island to the mainland - either Three Anchor Bay or Blouberg.
- Theo Yach
Worldwide the success rate for crossing the Channel is 16%, but for South Africans training here it is almost 100%.
- Theo Yach
All I wanted was to get to that damn beach. I really didn't want to be out there. I didn't think it was fun.
- Terry Griffin
I felt the sea sand underneath me and did the mermaid walk to the beach.
- Lydia Goldswain | Robben Island Double
The expletives were choice. A good few of these words ... are used to describe really cold conditions.
- Melanie Gow | Robben Island
I would have liked to do this swim on Woman's Day in honour of all the fearless women in South Africa.
- Carina Bruwer | Danger Point
Not everyone may finish the race and not everyone can complete it solo (no wetsuit), but that is the attraction and the challenge.
- Ram Barkai | Cadiz Freedom Swim
There are magic moments when the sun is shining, the sea is calm and your heart sings. You really have to apply mind over matter.
- Peter Bales | English Channel
I'm just going to carry on pushing the envelope and challenging my fears.
- Ram Barkai | Robben Island
About the CLDSA
The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association is dedicated to offering information and news on open water swimming around Cape Town, with particular focus on solo swims in the sea.
Our aims are to:
  • Promote long distance open water swimming in general
  • Help coordinate, officiate and record all long distance open water solo swims in Cape waters
  • Promote Cape Town as an open water swimming destination
  • Assist those traveling to Cape Town for swims, by offering open water swimming information and advice, as well as traveling advice to optimise your Cape Town experience.
The Committee
Herda Silverman
Technical & Safety
Communications Officer
Robben Island Coordinator
Additional Members
Martin Goodman
Otto Thaning
The CLDSA have produced their latest journal with many interesting swimming stories. Copies can be obtained from Tony Sellmeyer - at R150 each.
Upcoming Events
News Archive
There is no news archive yet. In future, older news will be archived here.
Contact the CLDSA
Please fill in the the form below and someone from the CLDSA will contact you.
Terms and Conditions

This website is owned by The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association (CLDSA).

The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use:

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  • Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.
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CLDSA Newsletters

You can read past newsletters by clicking on one of the links below.

As of July 2014 we are using MailChimp for our newsletters and posting a link to the MailChimp server. Apologies if these links cease to exist after a period.

Pic of the Month

Derek, Evan and JP - Maidens Cove to Clifton 4th in 10.5 degree water on 4 November 2015

Wipe Out

Dump of the Year: Anonymous dare-devil

Social Swims

Please be advised that these Social Swims do not have a safety infrastructure in place. The safety is provided by the swimmers themselves and this take place in the form of the “buddy” system. Should you arrive at any of these swims, please make it clear that it’s your first time and some on within the group will run through the swim route/rules of the day. Plus one of the swimmers will be your “buddy” for the swim. Do not attempt to swim alone as the sea can be so unpredictable.

And so if you are traveling to Cape Town to attempt an Atlantic Ocean (Robben Island or Cape Point) swim, it would be advisable to do some training in the ocean. Camps Bay Beach or 4th Beach Clifton, are perfect for this as both are reasonably well protected bays and the water is normally calm and cold. It is however never advisable to swim on your own so that your first port of call should be one of the social swims described below.

The Chilly Atlantic

Sunday Swims

Camps Bay Beach

There is a social swim at Camps Bay every Sunday morning at 09:00 all year round. This is a purely social swim and newcomers are welcome and will be looked after by the more experienced swimmers as they acclimatise to the cold. Sea temperatures are usually around 13 degrees, but can go as low as 9 degrees and as high as 19 degrees. The course of 1.5km is close to shore so that swimmers can exit at any point. The picture below shows a particularly beautiful morning at Camps Bay.

We meet on the lawns in front of Cafe Caprice and afterwards we always stay on at Caprice for hot chocolates and breakfast. Thus it is also an ideal opportunity to meet many of the best and most experienced local swimmers and to find out what is happening locally. For further information contact Andrew Chin on 083 708 1390.

Clifton 4th Beach

On most Sundays the swim is at Camps Bay, but on the first Sunday of the month there is an organised swim at Clifton 4th Beach, where for a small fee you get lifeguards and your time over the course. Both the Camps Bay and Clifton swims are around 1.5km and usually very cold.

Week Day Swims (during the summer months)

Clifton 4th Beach

Keen swimmers gather at Clifton 4th Beach for a dip from 17:00 onwards. They generally swim between the rocks either side of 4th beach a couple of times, and but when conditions are flat they might venture to 1st beach and back (1.5km)

Big Bay Beach, Blouberg

If you live in the Northern Suburbs, and the Tableview area, each Tuesday and Thursday morning at 06:00 a social swim takes place from outside Big Bay Life Saving Club. The distance is temperature related. You can contact Derrick on 082 770 5798.

Sunday morning at Camps Bay
Serious Pool Time
Sea Point Pavilion

For time in the pool there is no better place than the Sea Point Pavilion. This is a large 50m open air sea water public pool on the beach front in Sea Point. In summer (October to March) the pool is open from 07:00 until 19:00, although it is best to get there early to avoid the crowds.

Some swimmers prefer this venue on a Sunday morning. Indeed, you will find other swimmers there every morning, as well as at lunchtimes and after work. Many of the Cape Long Distance Swimming legends should be training - veterans like Peter Bales, Hugh Tucker, Theo Yach and Otto Thanning still train here regularly.

How do I prepare for a Robben Island swim?
What am I allowed to wear?

A swim is only official when done according to the English Channel Swimming rules, i.e., a swimmer is permitted to wear only one costume, one cap, and one pair of swimming goggles. You are allowed to use grease, but this is seldom done other than to prevent chaffing.

When is the best time of year to attempt a swim in Cape Town, and how will the weather affect my swim?

The open water swimming season in Cape Town generally stretches from October to April/May, although crossings in winter have been completed successfully. Water temperatures on the Atlantic side supposedly increase around February / March / April, due to the gradual decrease of the prevailing summer-wind, the South-Easter. It does however often happen that temperatures are still very low during these months, and higher in January; it is unfortunately impossible to predict. The hot air temperature during summer months does make a big difference.

The conclusion is that, due to Cape Town's often unpredictable weather, especially with regards to wind, it is advisable to allow yourself a reasonable window period in order to at least get a chance to make an attempt. A period of 7-10 days should be sufficient for Robben Island, Cape Point and Cape Agulhas attempts, while crossing False Bay is more complicated. Please contact us to discuss this.

Database Queries
Please select from one of the below query types:
  • Swimmer Surname Lookup
    Type the first letter of the swimmer's surname.
  • Courses by grouping
    Show the courses within each course group.
  • Swimmer's swims by group
    Find all swims for a given swimmer by course group.
  • Swims by course ID
    Find all swims for a given course and time period.
  • Applications to Swim
    Show applications to swim.
Database Results
Please specify a query to populate the results box.
Registration Procedure

Please check first whether you are registered! (See the Surname Lookup on the Records Database.)

When you wish to do a swim you can click on the big orange "Complete a Swim Application" button. You can also pay your membership fee at the same time.

Registration is a one-off process and will remain in effect in perpetuity whereby you retain your unique Swimmer Id forever. However, membership expires on the 31st August each year.

Banking Details
Account NameCape Long Distance Swimming Association
BankABSA, Sea Point
Account40 4935 8476
ReferenceFirst name & surname
ID Number/Passport:
Birth Date:
Post Code:
Email (again):
Password (again)
Application To Swim

Welcome to the swim application page. Please use the green and grey scroll bar to scroll down.

Your application to swim gives us notice of your intentions so that we can arrange for an observer and collect your swim fee in advance. When CLDSA have checked your application and received your swim fee you will be notified via email and you will then be cleared to swim. Note that your swim fee does not expire and can be used at any time in the future to do a swim. We call it "banking a swim".

Indemnity & Waiver
Swim Information

Note: if the swimmer is under 18 years of age you will need to complete the consent form signed by the parent or guardian. Please download the form and email the completed document to

Swim Consent Form
Banking Details
Account NameCape Long Distance Swimming Association
BankABSA, Sea Point
Account40 4935 8476
ReferenceSurname & Swimmer Id
Application Form

There are three options for the Course below, based on the cost: a single is a swim such as Robben Island to Blouberg, a double would be Robben Island to Blouberg and back, and a marathon would be a swim such as across False Bay. Broadly speaking, a single is less than 10km, a double between 10km and 20km, and a marathon greater than 20km. In the description field please enter the key points, e.g., Robben Island - Blouberg, Three Anchor Bay, etc. The approximate date can be the month and year.

Swimmer's ID:

1. I hereby acknowledge that I have read the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association Indemnity & Waiver document and am fully conversant with the contents thereof.
2. I understand and accept that the CLDSA Observer's decision in matters pertaining to the Swim is final.

By ticking this box you confirm the Declaration.

Open Water Swimming in South Africa
Tony Sellmeyer's book Open Water Swimming in South Africa, first published in 2009, contains a wealth of information about open water swimming in the Cape, in particular the history of swimming. We will soon be publishing excerpts from the book here.

Contact Tony Sellmeyer: / 082-457-1242

Theo does the Point
Posted: 30 July 2013
Watching the weather is a bit of a science  read obsession  for ocean swimmers in Cape Town so when I realised by late Thursday evening that the weekend in question would be a great Robben Island to 3 Anchor Bay swim opportunity I immediately tried to raise a crew . My plans came to nought when Tony Sellmeyer from the CLDSA advised me that Robben Island was in lockdown in preparation for President Barack Obamas visit to Cape Town and Robben Island on Sunday 30 June. I felt bleak until Tony craftily suggested that as I had never given the Cape Point swim a go , why not this Saturday as conditions were going to be good in False Bay? My wife , Michelle , is opposed to me swimming in False Bay since Great White Sharks accompanied us on the last Simonstown to Muizenberg race ever swum - for that reason - some 10 years ago but I reasoned that as this swim is technically not really in False Bay (my interpretation only) and we now have shark shields to protect us that she would be ok with it.. As it happens , Michelle was cool about this news so I set about preparing. Tony put me in touch with Keith Finkelstein who boats and himself completed the swim a few months ago and he recruited Arend Grondman as his CLDSA observer  which is remarkable inasmuch as Arend had a back operation 4 weeks prior and really should not have been near an ocean going boat
We agreed to meet at Millers Point Club House on Saturday morning at 09h00. I invited Otto Thaning to swim with me but unfortunately he had to withdraw at the last moment due to an ill patient at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital , so I was to swim alone. The road trip to Millers Point took me approximately an hour from my home in Sea Point and was filled with thoughts of sharks , currents and whatever else one is given to think about when we have too much time to think!
My arrival at Millers Point Club House was a joy. Lots of kids running around on a Development Weekend sleepover and I met the late Dennis Pearsons (legendary swim coach and swimmer) grandson , Geoffrey Pearson , who immediately made me feel at home. Many fishermen were there as yellowtail was running and they were heading off to sea. A really pretty unspoilt place. The last time I had been there was when I paddled for Steven Klugman on his epic cross False Bay swim some years ago .
Keith and Arend arrived and we launched the boat and headed for Diaz Beach which is the start point of the swim. I had no clue what I was letting myself in for. The only research I had done was on the CLDSA website which lists the 21 swimmers who have succeeded so far and who have varying times for the approximately 8km swim ranging from 2h2m to an ominous 3h49m so I realised that serious currents and swells abound in this area. Nothing prepared me for the massive shorebreak that greeted me at Diaz Beach though. Fortunately , Keith suggested that there may be a rip current heading off the beach so once I had finally made it to the beach in one piece , I found the rip and swam with it out to sea.
The first 2.5km  3 km to the Point was hairy and I thought to myself , whilst being bashed around and trying to avoid the boat , that I have swum Robben Island 72 times and wouldnt it be a pity if I drowned right here as I was drinking so much sea water! The good news is that I made it to the tip of Cape Point and as Keith and Arend had advised , the sea calmed down a lot and I could craft proper strokes enroute to the end point some 5kms away at Buffelsbaai. WOW! Tony had told me about the scenery but it was still a surprise. Unspoilt stark mountain coasts , beautiful kelp forests within touching distance  as the depth cannot be more than 8-10 metres , seals frolicking below me , an elusive whale that refused Arends best efforts to photograph it and many jellyfish.that stung me from head to toe.
I reached land at Buffelsbaai in 2h19m and to celebrate was given a recently caught yellowtail by one of Keith and Arends fishing colleagues on the return trip to Millers Point .
All in all , it was a privilege to swim Cape Point and the main lesson for me is that we need to keep this stretch of coast as pristine as it is for future generations. Development certainly has a place BUT not here , please !
The Pics
Theo at the Point
Theo going round the Point
Swim Name Robben Island - Blouberg
Swim Codes RI-BB; BB-RI
Level Experienced
Distance 7.4km
Ave. Temperature 12°C
This is the iconic swim to do in Cape Town, and offers a number of variations. You can swim to Blouberg Beach or Three Anchor Bay, or round the Island or any combination thereof.
Robben Island lies in Table Bay, some 7.4km from the nearest land and within site of Cape Town. The island is of considerable historical and political significance to South Africans and is a World Heritage Site.
The first Robben Island swim was recorded swim in 1909 when Henry Charteris Hooper swam from Robben Island to the old Cape Town harbour. It took Hooper just under 7 hours to complete the swim of approximately 11km. Since then about 500 individuals have done the crossing from or to Robben Island and various points on the coast. Despite the relatively short distances (the main swims between Robben Island and the mainland are between 7km and 11km) swimming Robben Island has become a challenge even to accomplished swimmers, mostly due to the cold water temperature. The swim remains an ideal for many swimmers worldwide because of the physical challenge, as well as the historical significance of the Island.
Course Variations
Swim Name Robben Island - Three Anchor Bay
Swim Codes RI-3AB; 3AB-RI
Level Experienced
Distance 10.2km
Whether to start this swim on the Island or on the mainland depends on wind direction. Most Robben Island - Three Anchor Bay swims start on the Island.
Swim Name Around Robben Island
Swim Code RRI
Level Experienced
Distance 9.9km
The swim is done clockwise OR anticlockwise, depending on currents and the preference of the swimmer.
Course Records
Robben Island to Blouberg
Category Swimmer Date Time
Fastest male Troy Prinsloo 27 February 2013 1:23:54
Fastest Female Natalie du Toit 26 April 2009 1:35:45
Youngest Female Sarah Kay (12 years) 27 November 2003 2:09:00
Oldest Male Otto Thaning (72 years) 11 May 2013 2:40:00
Oldest Female Barbara Pierce (64 years) 2 June 2002 4:08:00
First Blind Male James Pittar 3 May 2014 3:04:31
Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay
Fastest male Christof Wandratsch 5 February 2005 2:11:49
Fastest South African male Steven Klugman 9 March 1991 2:25:00
Fastest Female Emma Alsop 18 May 2011 2:40:30
Other Longer Course Records
Blouberg to Robben Island Double
Tyron Venter (see Triple below) 1 October 2012 3:28:00
Janine Pearse 12 April 2014 3:51:00
Blouberg to Robben Island Triple
Tyron Venter 1 October 2012 5:56:00
Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island Double
Steven Klugman 3 March 2002 5:52:00
Annemie Landmeters (BELG) 16 December 1987 6:28:00
Three Anchor Bay - Robben Island - Blouberg
Anton Botha 30 April 2013 4:29:00
Jeanine Pearse 10 August 2014 5:15:00
Blouberg - Around Robben Island - Blouberg
Anthony Pearse 28 June 2014 6:13:00
Jeanine Pearse 28 June 2014 6:12:00
Around Robben Island
Tyron Venter 26 September 2012 2:37:00
Emma Alsop 28 June 2014 3:01:27
Around Robben Island Double
Tyron Venter 26 September 2012 6:21:00
Cecilia Schutte 22 December 2012 7:28:00
Around Robben Island Triple
Cecilia Schutte 22 December 2012 12:23:00
Llandudno to Robben Island
Theo Yach 8 April 2014 7:03:00
Camps Bay to Robben Island
Wayne Chaitman 9 December 2012 5:12:00
Clifton to Robben Island
Derek Yach 23 May 1987 3:57:00
Most Robben Island Crossings [24 October 2014]
Theodore Yach 85
Ryan Stramrood 48
Tony Sellmeyer 43
Kieron Palframan 34
Greg Bastick 23
Andrew Chin 22
Peter Bales 20
Zani Muller 20
Roger Finch 20
Martin Goodman 19
Steven Klugman 18
Ram Barkai 17
Motti Lewis 15
Kevin Andersson 15
Emma Alsop 15
Toks Viviers 13
Mark de Klerk 12
Toni Enderli 12
Otto Thaning 12
Herda Silverman 11
Melanie Gow 11
Anthony Pearse 11
Carina Bruwer 9
Liz Webb 9
Jeanine Pearse 9
Swim NameDassen Island
Swim Code DI
Level Expert
Distance 11km
Ave. Temperature 11°C
Record Holder Alan Jamieson
Record Date 30 March 2008
Record Time 2:33
The Dassen Island swim is similar, albeit slightly longer, than the Robben Island swim. A straight line from island to the coast in chilly water.
Dassen Island is situated about 11km west of Yzerfontein, the first village on the West coast road and about 80km from Cape Town. Dassen Island's name is derived from the large amount of dassies (rock rabbits) that live here. The island is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary with a population of 68 000 African penguins. Dassen Island is 4,5km long and 2km wide, with the highest point being a mere 10m above sea level.
On 7 May 1986 Barry Cutler became the first person to swim from Dassen Island to the West Coast in a time of 3:56. He braved extreme cold and strong currents to complete the swim for a local charity. On 21 March 1993 Lewis Pugh became the second person to complete the swim, setting up a new record with his time of 2:35. In 2004 the first women attempted the swim: Sarah Matthews and Gill Stamrood completed the distance between the island and Yzerfontein in 3:38, joined by Gill's brother Ryan Stamrood.
The most recent crossing was by Alan Jamieson on the 30 March 2008 in a time of 2:33, which is the record for the crossing.
Alan Jamieson's Report
We set off from Yzerfontein harbour at about 8.30 am on Sunday morning 30th March 2008. While en route to the Island we were given water temperatures which varied between 9.4 and 11.5 degrees Celcius. On hearing these temperatures I was quite worried since I had said that if the temperature was below 11 I would not attempt the swim.
On arriving at the Island we were met by Johan Visagie, who I had to get permission from for us to land on the island and we walked to the point of the island from which I was to start the swim. The water seemed to be OK, so giving the support crew the signal that I was ready, I slipped into the water (which was around 11 degrees C) and set off on my swim to the coast.
About 1km into my swim I was joined by a group of 6 Dusky Dolphins which swam around me for about 1km, and while this was going on we had a Southern Right whale swimming about 25m away from me, along with some penguins and a seal and a group of Pelicans flying overhead. All I can say was that I was the most blessed lucky person on the planet to be able to swim with these amazing creatures all at the same time.
The swim from there on was a little more serious with me just keeping focused on what was at hand. My first stop was at the 5km mark for a drink of juice; the reason for not stopping earlier was due the the water temperature, which was ranging between 9.5 and 11 degrees C. Egged on by the support crew, my beautiful fiance, and Peter Bales from Cape Long Distance Swimming as the official observer, I just kept going as best as I could. Peter had given me the indication that I was on track to better the record held by Lewis Pugh for the past 15 years.
About 500m from the end I bade farewell to the boat, which could not go in any further due to heavy swells and the shorebreak. I was met by a group of surfers who kept an eye on me and cheered me on through some rather nasty 1.5m surf. Arriving on the beach I was met by my mother and step dad who had blankets and warm chocolate drink for me. When I reached the beach I cramped up quite badly, but was ecstatic at finishing the swim and breaking the 15 year record by 2 minutes.
Swim Name Danger Point
Level Expert
Distance 11km
Ave. Temperature 15°C
Record Holder Carina Bruwer
Record Date 11 August 2004
Record Time 3:16
Danger Point, about 2 hours drive from Cape Town, is situated on the Southern point of Walker Bay near the village of Gansbaai, the world capital of Great White Shark diving which takes place around the nearby Dyer Island. Dyer Island lies about 10km from Danger Point which must make this one of the most dangerous swims in the world.
The Swim
The Danger Point swim has only been achieved on one occasion, by Capetonian swimmer Carina Bruwer, on 11 August 2004 as part of South Africa's Women's Day celebrations. No sharks were sited on the swim, and Carina's biggest problem was coping with jelly fish and swimming against heavy chop around the point. The boat support for the swim was provided by Gansbaai Scuba and Adventure and the crew included a pilot, a professional paramedic, and a safety diver.
Carina swam a distance of 11km from Romansbaai on the western side, around Danger Point to Kruismansbaai in a time of 3:16. The water temperature varies between 15 and 19 degrees.
For those contemplating this swim you should note that Dyer Island is about 10km due east of the point. A little known fact is that several abalone poachers have been killed by Great Whites in this area.
Swim Name Cape Point
Level Expert
Distance Various
Ave. Temperature 15°C
Cape Point is the southern-most point of the Cape Peninsula and the de facto meeting place for the cold Atlantic and warm Indian oceans. Treacherous seas, rocky cliffs with few landing opportunities, and sharks make this a formidable swim.
The Swim
The first successful swim around Cape Point was in 1979 by the world-renowned American swimmer Lynne Cox. She completed the 8km swim from Diaz beach to Buffels Bay in just under 3 hours. The swim was only attempted again in the 90s by British swimmer Lewis Pugh, who swam a shorter route of less than 3km. The next attempt was in March 2004 by 24-year old Capetonian swimmer Carina Bruwer who finished the swim in 2:20, becoming the first South African to complete the swim.

Carina Bruwer rounding Cape Point
Her success received a lot of interest from the media and fellow open water swimmers, and 2 weeks later the first South African men - Capetonians Ram Barkai and Andrew Chin - rounded the Cape successfully in a time of 3:39. Three days later four swimmers were back in the water, swimming a longer route of 10.2km, and setting a new route they named "The Three Capes" - rounding the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point. Gill Stamrood, Lewis Pugh, and Tony Sellmeyer finished the swim together in 3:15, whilst Kevin Anderson took a shorter route from Cape of Good Hope to Antonies Gat. In February 2005 Christof Wandratsch took more than an hour off this time and holds the current record at 1:59.
Diaz beach to Buffels Bay remains the most popular course with no less than 14 swimmers completing it together in March 2014. Both the mens and womans records were broken during this swim.
Category Swimmer Date Time
Around Cape Point: Diaz Beach to Buffels Bay
Fastest overall Anthony Pearse (RSA) 6 March 2014 1:41:41
Fastest Female Emma Alsop (UK) 13 April 2014 1:58:00
Three Capes Swim: Maclear beach to Buffels Bay
Fastest overall Christof Wandratsch (GER) 10 February 2005 1:59:00
Fastest Female Gill Stamrood (RSA) 15 April 2004 3:15:00
Swim Name False Bay
Level Expert
Distance 35km
Ave. Temperature 15°C
False Bay is a natural bay that stretches along the peninsula's eastern coastline from the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve at Cape Point to Cape Hangklip. It was named "False Bay" when early navigators mistook Cape Hangklip for Cape Point, which resulted in many shipwrecks in the bay with its strong cross winds and rocky routes. It is the largest true bay in South Africa and one of the great bays in the world. The water body covers approximately 1000km2, and the coastline, which makes up the Southern portion of the breath-taking Cape Peninsula, and includes the area from Muizenberg to Cape Point, is about 32km in extent.
Historical Swims
In the early days of long distance swimming coastal swims in False Bay were the swim of choice, primarily because the water is considerably warmer than that of the Atlantic and there is generally less swell. Swims from Simonstown to Muizenberg were organised fairly regularly, as were annual Mile swims in Simonstown and Fish Hoek bays.
Across False Bay
The Everest of Cape swims is the crossing of False Bay itself from Rooi Els to Miller's Point, a distance of 35km. The difficulty of the swim can be attributed to strong and unpredictable currents and winds, icy and often inconsistent water temperatures, and the fact that False Bay has one of the highest populations of Great White sharks in the world. The swim has only been attempted about 20 times, and to date only five swimmers have completed it: Annemie Landmeters in 1989, Steven Klugman in 2004, Carina Bruwer in 2006, Barend Nortje in 2007. Ned Denison, who lives in Cork, Ireland, completed the swim on New Year's Eve in 2012.
Sadly, since the fatal attack at Fish Hoek in 2004, and the increasing prevalence of in-shore shark sightings together with further attacks False Bay has become virtually out of bounds for all distance swimming. Amongst Cape locals the feeling is that it is simply too dangerous to swim there anymore.
Category Swimmer Date Time
Across False Bay
Fastest male Barend Nortje (RSA) 5 March 2007 9:33:00
Fastest Female Annemie Landmeters (BELG) 1989 9:56:00
First South African Female Carina Bruwer 26 February 2006 10:58:00
Simonstown to Muizenburg
Fastest male Steven Klugman (RSA) 24 January 2004 2:22:00
Fastest Female Annemie Landmeters (BELG) 10 March 1990 2:18:00
Fastest South African Female Cecilia Stanford 24 January 2004 2:36:00
Simonstown to Muizenburg Double
Fastest Overall Annemie Landmeters (BELG) 18 December 1988 5:17:00
Other Swimmers Marie van der Merwe 15 April 1979 7:56:00
Swim Name Atlantic Coast & Other Swims
Level Expert
Distance Various
Ave. Temperature 12°C
Below is a list of other notable long distance swims around the Cape. These are mostly one-off swims that have only been done by a handful of swimmers, and for which no official fastest times are kept.
The Milnerton to Blouberg swim (10.2km) has recently become an annual event and is quite popular. For casual training swims there is little to beat swimming swimming across either Camps Bay or Clifton, which are very popular courses in summer.
Other Swims
Swimmer Date Time
Kommetjie to Hout Bay [9km]
Derek Yach 24 February 1990 2:53:00
Penny Gill 7 June 1992 4:34:00
Otto Thanning 24 October 1992 3:48:00
Mike Rigg 24 October 1992 3:48:00
Guy McKechnie 23 January 2010 3:36:00
Victoria McKechnie 23 January 2010 3:41:00
Camps Bay to Robben Island
Theo Yach 7 May 1994 5:30:00
Wayne Chaitman 12 December 2009 5:12:00
Across Saldanha Bay
Lewis Pugh 3 April 2004 2:50:00
Gill Stamrood 3 April 2004 2:50:00
Around Cape Peninsula
Lewis Pugh April-May 2004 37:20:00
Through Knysna Heads
Lewis Pugh 3 July 1991 3:30:00
Around Cape Hangklip
Lewis Pugh 12 December 2004 3:13:00
Made by Country