Carina Bruwer- Marathon Swimmer


Extreme Marathon Swimmer


Carina has been an open water swimming pioneer since 2002, specialising in distances between 10km and 40km, raising funds and awareness for worthy South African charities and causes. 

Carina Bruwer delivering a corporate keynote in South Africa

“I don’t swim ‘with sharks’; I swim in oceans where there are sharks. It’s not about proving courage or immortality, but rather about negotiating with fear in pursuit of something great”

Carina Bruwer’s extensive swimming resume includes crossing the English Channel, the Gibraltar Straits, False Bay, Bonifacio Straits, Messina Straits, Triple Country (France – Monaco – Italy), Robben Island and dozens more, with many of her swims being firsts and/or record breaking feats.  Ranked as one of the World Open Water Swimming Association’s top 50 most “daring, courageous and audacious” open water swimmers in the world, Carina founded Swim For Hope in 2014, in order to raise funds and awareness for South African organisations that she supports, through her swimming challenges. The project has raised over R1,000,000 since its inception, and millions more in media coverage.


Most notable solo swims

  • Across False Bay, South Africa – FIRST SA WOMAN; THIRD SWIMMER EVER | Date: 26 February 2006 | Distance: 36km; Time: 10h58
  • English Channel Crossing, England to France – FASTEST SA WOMAN | Date: 1 August 2005 | Distance: 36km; Time: 12h03
  • Across Walker Bay, South Africa – FIRST AND ONLY PERSON | Date: 12 March 2021 | Distance: 21km; Time: 06h12
  • Across Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa – FIRST FEMALE | Date: 28 February 2020 | Distance: §9km; Time: 05h15
  • Triple Country Swim, France – Monaco – Italy (Nice to Venimiglia) 21km – FIRST SWIMMER | Date: 17 September 2018 | Distance: 21km; Time: 7h01
  • Tabarca – Alicante, Spain, FIRST SA SWIMMER | Date: 14 June 2019 | Distance: 18km; Time: 4h40
  • Messina Straits Quadruple Crossing, Italy to Sicily and back twice – FURTHEST SWIM BY A WOMAN IN THE MESSINA STRAITS | Date: 21 June 2014 | Distance: 15km; Time: 03h59
  • Straits of Gibraltar crossing – Held FEMALE WORLD RECORD for 7 years | Date: 15 June 2005 | Distance: 16km; Time: 3h35
  • Straits of Bonifacio crossing, Corsica (France) to Sardinia (Italy) | Date: 17 June 2014 | Distance: 15km; Time: 04h28
  • Female winner and 3rd place overall in the 2006 Key West Marathon, USA | Date: June 2006 | Distance: 20km; Time: 4h39
  • Female winner and 4th place overall in the 2005 International Swimming Crossing of the Toroneos Gulf, Greece | Date: 23 July 2005 | Distance: 26km; Time: 7h58
  • Robben Island to Bloubergstrand 7,5km and Three Anchor Bay (11km) | 9 crossings to date; Best time: 1h58 ( 2007 and 2014 )
  • Around Robben Island Swim – held OVERALL RECORD for 8 years | Date: 27 April 2005 | Distance: 11km; Time: 3h07
  • First person to round the Northern-most point of Africa – Bizerte, Tunisia | Date: 15 Octobert 2004 | Distance: 16km; Time: 3h50
  • First person to round DANGER POINT – Gansbaai | Date: 11 August 2004 | Distance: 11km; Time: 3h16
  • First female and first South African to swim around Cape Agulhas | Date: 27 April 2004 | Distance: 11km; Time: 2h16 Broke the record of Englishman Lewis Pugh set in 1994 by 2 hours
  • First South African to swim around Cape Point – FASTEST TIME (broken since). Still holds Female record | Date: 27 March 2004 | Distance: 8,5km; Time: 2h20


    Recent Results

    • 1st overall @ Simonstown Mile – new course record 22:09, 9 August 2022
    • 1st 18+ female & 4th overall @ Knysna Splash 3km, December 2021
    • 1st overall @ Red2Head 10km swim in Knysna, 22 December 2021
    • 1st female & 3rd overall @ the 15km Gran Fondo Cinque Terre race, Italy (June 2019)
    • 4th female overall, 1st age group @ 13km Marnaton EDreams Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain (June 2019)
    • 1st female, 2nd overall @ 10km Aquamasters OWS Championships, Turkey (September 2018)
    • 1st female, 4th overall @ 5km Aquamasters OWS Championships, Turkey (September 2018)
    • 2nd female @ 25km South African Open Water Swimming Championships
    • st place overall @ 10km South African Open Water Swimming Championships
    • 1st female, 3rd overall @ 10km Western Province Open Water Swimming Championships, Mykonos
    • 1st Female @ False Bay 12km Iron Man Swimming Challenge (Simonstown to Muizenberg)


    Celebrity Event Ambassador

    • Swim The Island (Italy) 2015: Carina was invited to appear at Italy’s largest open water swimming event, where she swam a triple course of the longest event distance (6km x 3) for charity, and performed a solo concert
    • Swim The Island (Italy) 2016: Carina was invited back and this time swam 21km, and performed with her band Sterling EQ
    • Aquamasters Open Water Swimming Championships (Turkey) 2018: Carina was invited to participate in all the distances (3km, 5km, 10km and celebrity dashes) offered at this, one of Turkey’s foremost open water events.  She also delivered a number of inspirational talks to participants, and performed with her band Sterling EQ.

    Few, if any, would challenge Bruwer as South Africa's top female endurance athlete

    Dale Granger, Sports Journalist @ Cape Argus

    Bruwer’s passion has seen her battered, broken and unconscious in some of the most hostile waters in the world. And yet she’s come out swinging every time.


    She is no stranger to world firsts

    Sarah Taylor, Guest Contributor @ Cape Argus

    International Accolades

    Honorary Citizen of Bizerte (Tunisia) and Bergegi (Italy), resulting from pioneering swims in the regions 

    One of WOWSA’s “TOP 50 most Daring, Courageous and Audacious” Open Water Swimmers in the World”

    Recipient of the Lewis Pugh Trophy for the most outstanding swim of the year

    Recipient of the Supersport Champions Award

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