7 EL swimmers brave Robben Island waves


Seven East Londoners braved chilly Table Bay waters on Thursday to swim 7.5km from Robben Island to shore.
After months of training, the open-sea swimmers reached personal milestones, but for Greg Harris and Jono Kruger, it was extra sweet as they raised over R6,000 for charity.
Speaking to the Dispatch after hitting the beach to jubilation from family, friends and supporters, the swimmers – three of them women – enthused about the experience.
Joy Roach, 58, said the sea temperature was 13.8°C.
“There were three of us who swam with only costumes and for that we will get accreditation that those who swam in wetsuits will not get. It was a beautiful day in Cape Town – there was no wind and the sun was out. It was a first for all of us but we managed just fine, and the water was not as cold as we thought it would be.”
“I’d definitely encourage others to do it. It was absolutely beautiful. With every stroke I looked at Table Mountain. We swam with seals and bumped into jellyfish but they did not sting us. One of us got a little sting but it was not bad.”
Roach said she and her swimming partner, recent Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy age group champion Gail Wild, 62, who is from Gonubie, trained for about eight months.
The main Freedom Swim event was cancelled last week due to expected bad weather which did not materialise.
But the Eastern Cape swimmers, who had booked support boats and made safety arrangements, decided to do it on their own. Other swimmers were Karen Albertyn, Dr Sean Murray and Vic Beltrame.
Harris said the R6,000 raised so far was for the King’s Children’s Home in East London. He asked donors to call 072-450-0899.
“It’s not yet close to the R20,000 we wanted to raise, but but we are still hopeful. We were blessed that there was no wind during the swim. It was an amazing day. There were seals jumping out of the water and the weather was fantastic. It’s a personal milestone to have done the crossing,” Harris said...

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