The geographic divide between these two oceans is actually at Cape Agulhas. However, we can state that the boundary between the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic migrates seasonally between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point. Treacherous seas, rocky cliffs with few landing opportunities, and sharks make this a formidable swim.
The first successful swim around Cape Point was in 1979 by the world-renowned American swimmer Lynne Cox. She completed the 8km swim from Diaz beach to Buffels Bay in just under 3 hours. The swim was only attempted again in the 90s by British swimmer Lewis Pugh, who swam a shorter route of less than 3km. The next attempt was in March 2004 by 24-year old Capetonian swimmer Carina Bruwer who finished the swim in 02:20:00, becoming the first South African to complete the swim.
The Three Capes
Soon after Carina’s successful attempt, three swimmers were back in the water, swimming a longer route of 10.2km, and setting a new route they named “The Three Capes” – rounding the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point. Gill Stramrood, Lewis Pugh, and Tony Sellmeyer finished the swim together in 03:15:00. Chris Wandratsch holds the record for the fastest Three Capes Swim in 2005 at a time of 01:59:00.
The less popular and longer route of our Cape Point swims starting from Maclear Beach and rounding rounding the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point and finishing in Buffels Bay.
The current often can run against swimmers from Buffels Bay to Diaz Beach but the Cape Point swim is traditionally started at Diaz Beach because of the huge waves which are viewed as easier to get through in the start with than at the finish of the swim. Some swimmers have regardless succumbed to the big waves at Diaz Beach and ended their swims and an extra pair of goggles on the boat is highly recommended.
1979 Lynne Cox
2016 Anthony Pease 01:39:00