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ROBBEN ISLAND
first swim:

1909 Henry Charteris Hooper

youngest swimmer:

2004 Aditja Raout

oldest swimmer:

2014 Otto Thaning

fastest crossing:

2013 Troy Prinsloo 01:23:54

SWIM LOCATION: Robben Island

This is the iconic swim to do in Cape Town, and offers a number of variations. You can swim to Blouberg Beach or Three Anchor Bay, or round the Island or any combination thereof.

AVERAGE TEMP: 12 - 15°C

 

HISTORY:

Robben Island lies in Table Bay, some 7.4km from the nearest land and within site of Cape Town. The island is of considerable historical and political significance to South Africans and is a World Heritage Site.

The first Robben Island swim was recorded swim in 1909 when Henry Charteris Hooper swam from Robben Island to the old Cape Town harbour. It took Hooper just under 7 hours to complete the swim of approximately 11km. Since then about 500 individuals have done the crossing from or to Robben Island and various points on the coast. Despite the relatively short distances (the main swims between Robben Island and the mainland are between 7km and 11km) swimming Robben Island has become a challenge even to accomplished swimmers, mostly due to the cold water temperature. The swim remains an ideal for many swimmers worldwide because of the physical challenge, as well as the historical significance of the Island.

ROUTE VARIATIONS

SWIM NAME: Robben Island - Blouberg
LEVEL:Cold water experience needed
DISTANCE:7.5km
YOUNGEST SWIMMER:Aditja Raout
OLDEST SWIMMER:Otto Thaning
FASTEST SWIMMER:  Troy Prinsloo 1:23:54

Whether to start this swim on the Island or on the mainland depends on wind and current direction. Most Robben Island swims are from the island to Big Bay.

SWIM NAME:  Robben Island - Three Anchor Bay 
LEVEL: Cold water experience needed
DISTANCE: 11km
FIRST SWIM: 1909 Henry Charteris
YOUNGEST SWIMMER:Aditja Raout
FASTEST SWIMMER:  Christof Wandrasch 2:11

The swim can be done either way, all depends on wind and current direction.

SWIM NAME: Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island                                                      to Blouberg known as the “Dog Leg
LEVEL: Cold water experience needed
DISTANCE: 18km
FIRST SWIM: Tony Scalabrino

This swim generally goes from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Blouberg. The predominant wind dictates direction.

SWIM NAME Around Robben Island
LEVEL: Cold water experience needed
DISTANCE: 11km

The swim is done clockwise OR anticlockwise, depending on currents and the preference of the swimmer.