24 July 2005
Capetonian long distance swimmer Carina Bruwer was the first female, and fourth swimmer overall, to complete yesterday’s International Swimming crossing of the Toroneos Gulf in Greece.
32 swimmers from all over the world competed in this, the 35th International Swimming Crossing of the Toroneos Gulf (northern Greece). Countries represented include Hungary, India, the Domenican Republic, England and Greece; Carina was the first swimmer from South Africa who was invited to take part. The arduous 26km swim starts in Halkidiki, and finishes on the beach of Nikiti, where swimmers are awaited by thousands of spectators from local towns.
The race was won by Marcos Diaz (www.marcosdiaz.net), world-renowned swimmer from the Dominican Republic. Carina finished in fourth place overall in a time of 7h58, just minutes after the highly reputed Hungarian distance swimmer Attila Manyoki.
“I was hoping to break 7 hours for the swim, but conditions were horrendous at times: We had rough waters, chop and wind – all seeming to be against us – for about 80% of the swim. I was expecting lovely flat waters in the Med! It was an amazing experience though; when the prize ceremony started last night at 10pm , swimmers were still battling to finish after swimming for 15 hours! They were then carried onto the stage with Olympic reefs and heroic music in the background, and a crowd of thousands went absolutely mad. This is the spirit of the competition – it’s absolutely fantastic.
“I was very happy to win the female race; I did not know anything about my competition, and some of the girls taking part looked really strong. I was even more surprised at being 4 th overall!” Carina, who broke the record for the fastest female to swim across the Straits of Gibraltar last week, was accompanied by Mr. Peter Bales from the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association, who has been on most of her solo swims, including her record breaking swims around Cape Point, Cape Agulhas and Robben Island . Carina hopes to attempt the 34km crossing of the English Channel next week.
Photos of the finish, where Carina is met on the beach by local spectators, and given an Olympic reef, are available onwww.carinabruwer.com/greecephotos.htm.
Carina can be contacted today between 4pm and 6pm at the Toroneos Hotel, Room 521, Tel: +30 23750 22970, and from tomorrow afternoon in England on +447962542508
Notes to Editors
- The The race started 37 years ago when 6 swimmers attempted to cross the gulf 37 years ago, swimming for 2 days before reaching the other side. It has since became a highlight of the annual calendar, and the whole town of Nikiti takes part in the celebration and festivities which take place the whole week surrounding the event. More information on http://www.halkidiki.com/nikiti/toroneos.htm
- Carina lives in Cape Town . She is 25 years old, a professional concert flautist and manager of her own music agency.
- Carina holds the Straits of Gibraltar female crossing record, as well as the overall records for the fastest swim around Robben Island, and she is also the only swimmer to have rounded the -most as well as the northern-most points of Africa (at Cape Agulhas and Bizerte in Tunisia southern respectively); last year she became the first South African to round Cape Point, and also holds the record for this swim. She is also the only swimmer to have rounded Danger Point near Gansbaai (the “White Shark Capital of the World”). More information can be found on www.carinabruwer.com