The Robben Island Freedom Swim is known as one of the hardest extreme cold open water swims in the world. Undeterred we trained hard throughout winter which meant a lot of colds! The swim is in open sea and can introduce chop, swell and currents and even the risk of sharks (albeit a slim one). Our major concern though, having trained in such cold temperatures, was the length of time we were going to have to spend in such cold water.
On April 11th we entered the rather chilly waters of the Southern Atlantic. After a a few 100 meters of hyperventilating due to the cold, we managed to settle into a regular stroke. The swim took 2 hours and 38 minutes, during which time we saw penguins, a whale, seals and a sunfish with a disconcertingly huge fin, but no sharks!
The water was incredibly clear, so we could see the kelp up to 30 metres below us and the big ocean rollers were fun to swim in. The surf at Blouberg Bay was quite hard to deal with after so long in the water, but we made a safe exit and really enjoyed the hot burning sensation of the cold water shower at the beach.
In the end we raised the entire amount needed (£1,358) to cover the cost of Pili’s treatment and care - very well worth it!