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1986 Barry Cutler
2008 Alan Jamieson
The Dassen Island swim is similar, albeit slightly longer, than the Robben Island swim. A straight line from island to the coast in chilly water. Dassen Island is situated about 11km west of Yzerfontein, the first village on the West coast road and about 80km from Cape Town.
AVERAGE TEMP: 11°C
RECORD HOLDER: Alan Jamieson
RECORD DATE: 30 March 2008
RECORD TIME: 2:33
Dassen Island's name is derived from the large amount of dassies (rock rabbits) that live here. The island is a nature reserve and bird sanctuary with a population of 68 000 African penguins. Dassen Island is 4,5km long and 2km wide, with the highest point being a mere 10m above sea level.
On 7 May 1986 Barry Cutler became the first person to swim from Dassen Island to the West Coast in a time of 3:56. He braved extreme cold and strong currents to complete the swim for a local charity. On 21 March 1993 Lewis Pugh became the second person to complete the swim, setting up a new record with his time of 2:35. In 2004 the first women attempted the swim: Sarah Matthews and Gill Stamrood completed the distance between the island and Yzerfontein in 3:38, joined by Gill's brother Ryan Stamrood.
The most recent crossing was by Alan Jamieson on the 30 March 2008 in a time of 2:33, which is the record for the crossing.