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Information on Long Distance Swims


The CLDSA officiates over all swims according to world open water swim association rules, some of which have been formulated to correspond with those various open water swimming associations and includes the following: 
1.1  You shall not be assisted by an artificial aid of any kind;
1.2  You are permitted to grease yourself;
1.3  You may wear goggles and one cap (silicone). The hat shall not offer thermal protection or buoyancy. The Observer will have to approve the costume and cap. The Swimmer must make sure their costume and cap are of an approved type before starting, as the Swim will not be recognised if they do not conform.
1.4  You may wear one swimming costume that conforms to the following specifications: 

- Costume' A Standard Swim Costume'

(for both sexes) shall be of a material not offering Thermal Protection or Buoyancy and shall be Sleeveless and Legless : ""Sleeveless"" shall mean the Costume must not extend beyond the end of the shoulder onto the Upper Arm; ""Legless"" shall mean that the costume may not extend on to the Upper Leg below the level of the groin. 

- No wetsuits allowed
- No body suits allowed

1.5  For a Swim to be officially recognised: The swimmer must enter the sea from the shore of departure and swim across to finish on dry land. 
1.6  The timing of a swim shall start from the moment the swimmer enters the water until he completes the swim as laid down above
1.7  During the swim no physical contact with the swimmer shall be made by any person, and swimmer may not touch the boat;
1.8  The swimmer must wear at least 2 light sticks at night.
1.9  The minimum age for an official CLDSA swim is 12 years old on the day of the swim; 
       1.9.1  Between the ages of 12 and 18, swimmers must complete a qualifying swim/swims, this will be determined by weather conditions on the day of qualifying.
       1.9.2  General rules are – swim for 1 hour in 12 degrees, should the water be warmer, required to swim for 1 ½ hours. 
       1.9.3  Young swimmers and swimmers with a disability need to supply a letter from their physician giving his/her medical approval prior to an extreme swim.

NOTE: A swimmer must complete a CLDSA Indemnity Form when they sign up for a swim (this is done within the online registration with Big Bay Events)

1.10  The appointed Observer, shall be in sole charge of the timing of the swim and shall be responsible for observing compliance with the Rules, subject to ratification by the Committee.
1.11  The decision of the CLDSA Observer shall be binding.
1.12  Additional: Relay Teams
         1.12.1  May consist of two, three or four. Team Members' names shall be given to the Official Observer before the actual commencement of the swim. Thereafter there shall be NO substitutions.
         1.12.2  All Relay Team Members - Must be aged 12 years, or older, on the day the Swim commences and at least 50% of the Team shall be 16 years old, or older, on the day the Swim commences. For teams of less than 4 persons, all members must be over 16 years of age. 
         1.12.3  On receipt of a time signal - a take-over must be made within five minutes of the ending of the preceding swimmer's leg and to affect the take-over the new swimmer shall swim up from behind the preceding swimmer. 
         1.12.4  Team members - shall rotate in the same order throughout the swim.


2.1  You must apply to swim at least 2 weeks before your planned swim;
2.2  You must be a MEMBER of the CLDSA for the current season, run from 30 June to 31 July.  
       2.2.1  Read Swim INDEMNITY & WAIVER (within the reg. process via Big Bay Events)
2.3  Complete the online SWIM APPLICATION form on 

Bank Account for MEDALS only
Send confirmation of payment to
POP should include - Name, Surname, Year of membership.

ACCOUNT NAME     Cape Long Distance Swimming Association
BANK:                        ABSA Sea Point
BRANCH CODE:       61570
ACCOUNT NO:         4049358476
REFERENCE:           Name & Surname

2.4  Mervyn Bremner is the official Swim Coordinator and will handle the coordination of swims with all relevant parties, including Robben Island authorities. His telephone number 082 774 7487.
2.5  You must notify the Swim Coordinator Mervyn Bremner, before 5pm the day before your planned swim on his mobile number (+27) 82 774 7487 (if unavailable, then Tony Sellmeyer  (+27) 82 457 1242), confirming the swim and giving him the information as to the identity of the boat and expected time of arrival on Robben Island the next morning (if the swim is an island crossing). He will notify the Robben Island authorities and get permission for your boat to approach the island; 
2.6  You must organize your own boat and skipper, Mervyn Bremner (+27) 82 774 7487 has a list of our preferred boatmen and observers; this ensures compliancy with all safety regulations. (Boatman and Observers must hold a valid CPR/First Aid Level 1 qualification). 
2.7  Boatmen should have in their possession towels, blankets and space blankets, a warm drink.
2.8  One of our launching spots is Oceana Power Boat Club, Granger Bay, which is close to the V&A Waterfront. Parking is prohibited within the fenced areas at Oceana Power Boat Club. 
2.9  For record or inaugural swim attempts, there must be at least two CLDSA members as witnesses.


3.1  Awards (certificates) are handed out after the end of the season (30 June) at the AGM & Awards Evening; Medals must be purchased before 30 June each year.
3.2  Any sea swims over 7km receives a bronze medal; any sea swim over 10km’s receives a silver medal; a record for any officially recognized swim receives a gold medal.    


A list of swims can be found on the CLDSA website under Records Database or Swims & Routes. Any other swim will need to be pre-approved by the CLDSA before attempting.

Herewith a list the Most Popular Swims that recognised as OFFICIAL CLDSA swims: 
- Robben Island to Blouberg 7,4km
- Bouberg to Robben Island 7,4km
- Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island 10,2km
- Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay 10,2km
- Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Blouberg 20,4km (Dog leg)
- Blouberg to Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay 20,4km (reverse Dog Leg)

5. SWIM FEES 2018/2019 

Swim fee                        R200
Medal                             R450
Annual membership    R250 (Due 30 June each year)

(Foreign swimmers, please pay when you are in South Africa)


6.1  You will have to comply with “Channel” Rules (see point 1 - 1.11)
6.2  You will need to be a member of the CLDSA to apply for a medal;
6.3  You may apply for a medal for a long distance open water swim, for an inland swim it would have to be at least 10km or a sea swim of at least 7km.
6.4  The cost of the medal is R450.
6.5  The cut off dates for medal application is 30 June for the award function in Sep/Oct that year. After that date you would need to make arrangements (at your cost) to receive your medal.
6.6  For swims not on our recognized list of swims, the medals will be awarded at the discretion of the CLDSA.
6.7  Medal application form (Annexure 2)

DEADLINE DATE: 30 June (every year) 

If you would like to receive a medal at our awards evening later on in the year, please can you order and pay for it/them by 30 June.
Your CLDSA Membership must also be up to date (annual membership) as only members will be invited to attend. The season runs from 30 June to 31 July.

Cost is R450 per medal
Send an email with your POP to, subject line Medal Order.

Name - Your name as you would like it to appear on the medal
Route - Swim route eg Robben Island to Big Bay or Cape Point etc
Date - Date of actual swim
Time - Your official time in hours & minutes (this will be verified with our database)
Payment - Amount paid, attach proof of payment

Bank Account for MEDALS only: 
ACCOUNT NAME: Cape Long Distance Swimming Association
BANK:                     ABSA Sea Point
BRANCH CODE:    61570
ACCOUNT NO:      4049358476
REFERENCE:        Name & Surname