9 August 2003
South Africa’s long distance swimming sensation and concert flautist Carina Bruwer has become the first swimmer to successfully round Danger Point. 24 year old Bruwer was exhausted but relieved after completing this grueling swim of 10,5km, which took her 3h16.
DANGER POINT, near Gansbaai, is where the famous Birkenhead sunk in 1852. Gansbaai is also known as the capital of Great White sharks in the world, while the sea around Danger Point is famous for its treacherous waters and strong currents, a fact testimonied by the numerous shipwrecks that lie around the coast “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. Although, having swum into a school of jellyfish and being stung al over my body was not very reassuring when I was cold and sore from negotiating extremely rough waters around the point. It felt great however to be the first to swim in such notorious waters which plays home to so many stories.” “I hope to next do some big swims around the African coast, and will also hopefully be recording a CD soon!”
Bad weather prevented Carina from attempting the swim on Monday 9 August, South Africa’s National Womens Day. She then planned the swim for Thursday 12 August, but was called Wednesday morning by the locals saying the weather is perfect and the window period too small to risk waiting another day. “I would have liked to do this swim on National Womens Day, in honour of all the fearless women of South Africa who have to deal with daunting challenges in every day life. The fact that no man has been able to achieve this swim was an extra incentive. But with the swim I also want to commemorate the men who sacrificed their lives in the 1852 Birkenhead tragedy, in which the maritime tradition of ‘women and children first in an emergency’ was established.” Carina, who in April became the first recipient of the “Supersport Champions Award”, was in the news earlier this year when she became the first South African to round Cape Point as well as Cape Agulhas, both in record time. “I am glad that I completed this swim, and hope that more open water swimmers will attempt it now”.
Carina was seconded by a crew from Gansbaai Scuba and Adventure, with further support by Stellenbosch Maintenance.