After a highly successful “Swim For Hope” in which over R120,000 was raised in 2014, more than a dozen seasoned South African open water swimmers will again attempt the 8km extreme rounding of Cape Point, in support of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust (LFCT), a local charity that offers support to children with cancer and their families.
The group will go on standby on the 21st of March for what is known as one of the most extreme open water swimming challenges in South African waters (and one of the most spectacular in the world), swimming from Diaz Beach on the western side of Cape Point with its notoriously turbulent waters, to Buffels Bay on the Eastern side. The 8km challenge is characterized by cold and rough seas around the point, dangerous and relentless waves off Diaz beach, and an abundance of sea life, while the general inaccessibility of the terrain contributes to the extreme nature of the swim. An attempt is usually only possible in moderate weather conditions, which is why the swim date can only be called a day or two in advance, although the group is hoping for a good day as close as possible to their standby date of 21 March.
The Swim For Hope project was founded by celebrated South African musician and record-holding marathon swimmer Carina Bruwer, through a dramatic return to open water swimming in 2013 when she suffered from severe hypothermia after completing a solo rounding of Cape Point, for LFCT. Since then she has swum under the banner of Swim For Hope for LFCT as far as Italy and France, raising much needed funds and awareness. The Swim For Hope around Cape Point has since become an invitational group swim in which some of SA’s top open water swimmers partake. Funds are raised via public and corporate donations, and this year, Businessman and philanthropist Ramzi Mansour and his South African wife Nicole Fox he couple have challenged the public by pledging to match every rand donated up to 100,000 in support of LFCT.
All moneys raised will go towards 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.
T h e S w i m m e r s
All the Hope Swimmers have significant open water swimming experience and live for the sport. This year Carina Bruwer is joined by Capetonians Theodore Yach (record holder for the most Robben Island crossings), Anthony Pearse (Cape Point record holder), Maura Sanderoff (who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16 and thankfully survived, but had to have her leg amputated), wine industry entrepreneur Johan Wegner, property businessman Toni Enderli, teacher Lindsay de Kock, Martin Vleggaar, veteran swimmer and CLDSA member Tony Sellmeyer, outdoor enthusiast Charl Cilliers, and winemaker Clinton Le Sueur, while the Johannesburg contingent consists of English Channel swimmer Richard Child, engineer Colin Gluch, anaesthetist Karon Marx and advertising and retail man Neil Ralphs. Jeffreys Bay swimmer Brenton Williams (who will swim the full distance using butterfly stroke!) and the young talent Kendal Wright will be representing the Eastern Cape. Between them, these swimmers share dozens of successful Robben Island crossings plus more than a few notable records.
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The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association will officiate over the swim, which is to be done in accordance with international open water swimming rules: Only a single swimsuit (no wetsuit), cap and goggles may be worn, and swimmers have to start and end on land without ever making physical contact with any members of the support crew or the boat. Swimmers will be supported and guided by support boats equipped with Shark Shields (an electronic shark repellent device), while volunteer shark spotters will be in position on the cliffs above the swim route.
The swimmers will be on standby to swim from 21 March, and the swim will be called when conditions are most favourable. The waiting period can be anything from a few days to weeks; regular updates will follow. Members of the public, as well as corporates are invited to follow Swim For Hope’s social media interfaces (facebook and twitter) for live updates from the water on the day of the swim and are encouraged to sponsor and donate, all information and a donation platform is available on www.swimforhope.co.za. Corporate sponsors can also contact Little Fighters Cancer Trust directly on 073 729 6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org for organizational information such as taxation and BEE benefits, as the organization is a registered NPO with PBO status.
Swim For Hope: www.swimforhope.co.za
Little Fighters Cancer Trust: www.littlefighters.org.za
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Project Manager, Little Fighters Cancer Trust
Phone: +27 73 729 6155| Email: email@example.com|