News Letter 1

All it takes is all you've got!

3 October 2011

Fellow Swimmers and Friends

This is the first newsletter from the desk of the new Communications Officer and probably lacks intellectual vigour, but things will hopefully improve.

The Association AGM took place at the V&A on 14 September. The committee for the 2011-2012 year is:

CHAIRMAN Peter Bales
SECRETARY Shirley van Dam
CO-SECRETARY Hester Snyman
TECHNICAL Tony Sellmeyer and Barry Cutler
ADDITIONAL Ram Barkai, Martin Goodman & Andrew Chin

A copy of the Minutes of the AGM can be obtained by emailing me at

Following the AGM was the prize-giving and distribution of medals to those who had completed Robben Island and various other swims. The winners of the special prizes were:

Peter Bales Cup: Kimberley Burroughs for her plucky Round The Rocks swim

Gordon Pugh Trophy: Emma Alsop for her record-breaking Robben Island - Three Anchor Bay swim.

The Cadiz Heritage Day Swim was held on Saturday 24th September at the Oceana Power Boat Club. For a change the conditions were relatively benign, the sea flat and smooth, although an achingly cold 12 degrees. Twenty-six swimmers braved the 5km course, and sixty-two the 2.5km course; in the latter, over half the swimmers were in wetsuits.

In my opinion, the only things going for this swim are the pleasant outlook from the lawns and the cheap drinks in the bar – by the way, they serve sherry by the wine-glass! This swim is replete with man-made hazards: the rough slipway does its name proud, the water tastes like old fish and diesel, and the straight out/straight back course induces a trance-like coma, compounded by incipient hypothermia (in my case, anyway).

The full results can be viewed here

Sunday swims are a popular way of both conditioning for cold water and socialising with your fellow swimmers. Meet every Sunday at 9am on the lawns opposite Caprice in Camps Bay and swim across the bay (roughly 1.5km). Afterwards there is always hot chocolate at Caprice where you may sit at the feet of the masters and savour their crumbs of wisdom (or buy your own toasted bacon and cheese sandwich if such crumbs prove insubstantial). The picture on the right shows a typical Sunday swim, with a gentle breeze wafting over the lagoon-like waters. In addition to freezing, the swimmers (who shall remain nameless for fear of being locked up) were also severly sand-blasted.

CLDSA annual membership fees are now due: R100 (for the season August through to July every year). It is compulsory for all swimmers wishing to do a Robben Island crossing or any other CLDSA official crossings, to be a member of the CLDSA. You may renew your membership when you “bank” your first swim and add an additional R100 to the cost of your swim, or you may renew separately. Deposit your membership fee (R100) for the 2010 / 2011 season into the CLDSA account: Please use your surname and “membership” as reference

ACCOUNT NAME Cape Long Distance Swimming Association
BANK ABSA, Sea Point
ACCOUNT NO 40 4935 8476

I hope to see you soon in the water


Note: the views expressed here are not necessarily those of the CLDSA nor its committee members.


The famous Pod 1, with prize for the warmest swim of the season (mean 17 deg)
[Chris, Charlie, Shirley, Terry, Monika]


The equally famous (for no apparent reason) Pod 2
[Hazel, Zani, Francois, Richard, Alon, Toby]

Heritage Day

Start of the Heritage Day Swim
Note that most of the field are in front of the start buoy!

Camps Bay

Camps Bay, Sunday 2 October 2011
Sea temperature: 8.6 degrees
Brain damage: Priceless!