Watch this space. Seriously fast laaitjies coming through…
Cape Town brother and sister, Alexander (16) and Sarah Palframan (14), both provincial waterpolo players, swam their second and first Robben Island respectively in January (2.06). Their dad, Kieron, needs no introduction, except to say that he is booked to do his last Oceans Seven swim – the Molokai Straits (between Molokai and Oahu Islands in Hawaii) this July. The laaitjies’ grandfather is Robben Island legend, Tony Sellmeyer, whose own son Bernard has also done a good few islands.
Kieron says it was more a case of his kids pressuring Dad to swim, not the other way around. “It’s a very, very special feeling, and they were totally motivated to do it themselves. They pushed me to do it!”
Alex, who is in Grade 11 at SACS, says he had the luck of the weather for his second crossing, with 16-degree water, and he knew he had the distance in him due to waterpolo. And swimming with his younger sister? “She’s really strong. Actually on that day she was faster than me and Dad!” Alex has his sights set on another island with a school mate, and one day, an English Channel.
Sarah, in Grade 9 at Springfield, and no stranger to the Camps Bay Sunday Hot Chocolate Club, says she had grown up loving the sea, but that having Kieron as her Dad and Tony as her grandfather, made her feel even closer to the ocean. Especially all their training and coping tips! And the hardest part of the swim? “The start was quite bumpy, but once I saw those rocks it was quite a shock knowing I’ve made it!”
Sarah says her message to any youngsters out there wanting to swim is, you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.