So, I know that I said that I would post only on Monday, but truth be told, I am SO in awe of these brave swimmers that I HAD to just do a quick post today.
Unfortunately due to some logistic problems I did not manage to be on the sea (will definitely be on the sea next year), but even standing on the shore to welcome our swimmers home was extremely exciting!
Seeing these pumped, tired, shivering bodies step out of the water after braving the elements in freezing waters and massive swells after being thrown around like corks by the ocean was a sight to behold!
After seeing what these swimmers go through, I have nothing but respect for them and say Bravo! to each and every swimmer that took part in Swim for Hope 2016 – you are all AWESOME!!
Team Swim for Hope 2016
The day began with everyone (Organisers, EMT crews, Officiators, Swimmers, Media, Support Crews, Boatsmen and Supporters) meeting at the Miller’s Point Boat and Ski Club House @ 7am.
Mandie from the Little Fighters Cancer Trust ensured that all swimmers were present, and gave them their numbers, costumes and swim-caps, etc. and ensured that all administrative paperwork was completed by all at the event.
Carina Bruwer, founder of the Swim for Hope event, gave a short welcome and inspirational speech and shared her pride in how these individuals were coming together to do this epic, grueling swim to support Little Fighter Cancer Trust and her disappointment in not being one of the swimmers this year and wished everyone well.
Derrick Frazer from BigBayEvents and co-organiser of Swim for Hope 2016, made sure that all the boatsmen knew what had to be done, had radios and shark-shields (an electronic shark repellent device).
The Safety & Environmental brief was done, and then the swimmers doing a wet-start left on their boats; the other boats also left for Diaz Beach and swimmers doing a dry-start drove to Diaz.
A wet start means that the swimmer goes by sea to the starting point at Diaz then jumps into the water and swims to the beach, whereas in a dry start the swimmer just starts off on dry land. Some swimmers prefer a wet start to get their bodies a bit used to the freezing water temperatures.
Once all swimmers are ready, media opportunities are done and the conditions are right, the Cape Long Distance Association (CLDSA) official calls the start and the swimmers enter the water. (Swim for Hope is classified by the Cape Long Distance Association (CLDSA) as an “Expert Level swim” and is recommended for experienced open water swimmers only. CLDSA officiates over the swim.)
Swim for Hope 2016 officially kicked off at 10:20!
As can be seen from the following photos, although conditions looked very calm and serene at the beginning of the day, the start was quite rough as by that time the wind had come up a bit.
The Epic Cape Point Rounding
This spectacular 8km ocean swim stretches from Diaz Beach on the western side of Cape Point, with its notoriously turbulent waters, to Buffels Bay on the Eastern side, and takes swimmers through the point where the two oceans (Atlantic and Indian) meet.
The Cape Point (also known as “Cape of Storms”) rounding is widely regarded as one of the most extreme open water swims in the world. Prior to the Swim for Hope Events, only around 2 dozen swimmers had successfully completed the 8km swim since the first rounding by world-renowned American swimmer Lynne Cox in 1979.
The minimum requirement for taking part in Swim for Hope 2016, is having successfully done at least one Robben Island Crossing.
Swim for Hope is classified by the Cape Long Distance Association (CLDSA) as an “Expert Level swim” and is recommended for experienced open water swimmers only.
Swim for Hope is undertaken according international open water swimming and CLDSA’s rules, which mean that:
- Swimmers shall not be assisted by an artificial aid of any kind
- Swimmers are permitted to grease themselves
- Participants may wear goggles and one cap
- Participants may wear one swimming costume which is Lycra (or other approved) Speedo type briefs for men and a Lycra (or other approved) Speedo type costume
- Swimmers may not wear wetsuits or body suits
- Participants must start and finish on land
- No physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person during the swim, and the swimmer may not touch the boat
- The minimum age for an official CLDSA swim is 12 years old on the day of the swim. Parental/Guardian approval is required for all swimmers under the age of 18 years on the day of the swim.
- The decision of the CLDSA Observer shall be binding
While weather conditions were the best ever, and those of us on shore got rather sunburnt, the conditions in the water were difficult, with some very choppy seas, especially around the Point itself, as some of the remarks made by our swimmers attest:
“Maybe I’m an old woes but I thought that was a tough swim, but chuffed I made it under 3 Hours”
“You’re not a woes; I’ve been talking about being thrown around the point and then blown up the coast…”
“That was the toughest swim I have done so far, but worth doing more”
“Those were ROUGH conditions; the swim to the point had enormous swells – many litres of seawater swallowed.”
“I drank more seawater today than on any swim”
” What an amazing swim; tough but so worth it”
“It sure is an EPIC swim!”
It was the most awesome feeling to stand at the finish and watch all of our swimmers come in after their grueling, freezing swim!
Congratulations to every single one of our swimmers ~ you are AWESOME and there are but few in the world who could (or would) do what you did!
Although a couple of our swimmers had to give up for safety reasons due to exhaustion and slight hypothermia (each swimmer has a support boat with someone who accompanies and monitors them throughout the event and there is a medic team on the water as well as one onshore; AMS was also on standby, should air rescue have been needed) they were immediately attended to by our medics upon reaching shore at Buffels Bay and were fine within a reasonably short time.
To these swimmers, remember, even if you had to pull out during the event for whatever reason, you are still AWESOME for even attempting such and Epic Event and we still love and honour you!
Not all of our photos are in yet ( we will only get the official photos and hopefully some video too, during the course of Monday) so we will do another post when we have them!
Our Swim for Hope 2016 team set a number of records again this year:
Anthony Pearse – new record-time 1h39
Saee Sukale – First Indian Female to round Cape Point
Prabhat Koli – First Indian Male to round Cape Point
Saee Sukale – Youngest person ever to round Cape Point
Team Swim for Hope 2016 – With 17 swimmers, this was the biggest Swim for Hope team yet
Team Swim for Hope 2016 – ALL swimmers round Cape Point sub-3 hours (Last swimmers came in @ 2h54)
Our reigning champion, Anthony Pearse, did not disappoint and once again set a new record, breaking his own record by a full two minutes to come in @ 1h39. Congratulations, Anthony!
Prabhat Koli who is only 16 years of age surprised us all with his inspiring swim and came in second @ 1h54, a mere 15 minutes after our reigning champion. Anthony I have it on good authority that Prabhat is going to go for your title next year 😉 Can’t wait to see you in action next year, Prabhat!
Saee Sukale our youngest swimmer ever finished somewhere in the middle of the pack in a very respectable time. Well Done, Saee!
Lindsay de Kock clocked her best time ever @ 2h54 – Congrats, Lindsay!
Congratulations to ALL of our swimmers on your achievements – we are all bursting with pride at your dedication and sacrifice!
Our respect, admiration and heartfelt thanks go out to every one who was involved in Swim for Hope 2016 in any way – without every single one of you we would not have been able to do this!
We had an AWESOME Team on board this year: BigBayEvents, Comply360, NCC Environmental Services, TYR South Africa, and various others, including CLDSA, various Media, boatsmen, skippers, volunteers, and friends and family.
The event went off well – no matter how much preparation one does, there will always be something beyond one’s control that goes wrong or causes a ripple in the event, but the measure of a successful event is that there are people who can jump in and resolve any hiccups with the minimal disruption, and this we had in SPADES!
Thanks to all for making Swim for Hope 2016 an Epic and Unforgettable event!
While the event is now over, we will still be continuing to fundraise until the end of April. Our target this year is R100, 000 and we are currently standing on R 78 820.14.
Please honour our brave swimmers and help us achieve our target of R100, 000 by donating in their honour to help our Little Fighters and their Families.
ALL funds raised will go to the Little Fighters Cancer Trust’s BAG OF HOPE Project.
A BAG OF HOPE provides essentials for both the Child with Cancer and his/her mother or bedside care-giver, with items such as toiletries, pyjamas, non-perishable food, educational toys, blankets and sanitary products, making a challenging and prolonged hospital stay, just a bit more comfortable.
LFCT is operational in 11 main paediatric oncology treatment centres throughout South Africa, including the Western Cape, Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Free State.
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust supports Children with Cancer and their Families throughout South Africa.
In cases where there is no family support structure, such as in oncology wards in Children’s Homes and Places of Safety, we are often the only line of support which these young Cancer Fighters have.
Our approach to support is holistic – we do not just look at practical and financial support, but also concentrate hugely on emotional support, providing relief where needed in and out of hospital.
You can make donations to the Swim for Hope effort by donating directly via any of the following methods.
ACCOUNT NAME: Little Fighters Cancer Organization
BANK: First National Bank
BRANCH: Paarl Mall
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62277783249
BRANCH CODE: 250057
ACCOUNT TYPE: Cheque
SWIFT CODE FOR INTERNATIONAL DONATIONS: FIRNZAJJ
Please email your proof of payment and personal message to firstname.lastname@example.org and if needed, request your Section 18A ta benefit and B-BEEE score documentation.
Please mark all EFT donations with “Swim for Hope”
Corporates as well as members of the public are encouraged to sponsor and donate, via “BackaBuddy”.
Corporate sponsors can contact Little Fighters Cancer Trust directly on 073 729 6155 or email@example.com for organisational information such as taxation and BEE benefits, as the organisation is a registered NPO with PBO status.
PLEASE HONOUR OUR AMAZINGLY BRAVE SWIMMERS BY SUPPORTING SWIM FOR HOPE! Each donation is worth gold.