Scores of female swimmers took to the sea off Simonstown this month for the first ever Simon’s Bay Mile.
This women’s-only event, presented by Swim Cape Town, was held in celebration of Women’s Day. Some 50 swimmers, including five SA Navy members, took part. Sponsored by Sailfish, the course started and finished at Simonstown Long Beach under initially calm conditions, but fresh at 13.5C. A mixture of skins and wetsuits started in batches of 10, to encourage social distancing, with the faster women starting first.
Entrants swam in a clockwise direction past some of the moored boats in Simon’s Bay towards the turnaround point at the local waterfront and jetty. From there they hugged the shoreline past the SA Navy Dive School and kelp forests of Admiralty Bay, before returning to the finish on the beach.
Shortly after the start of the swim a strong north westerly picked up and gave the swimmers a proper challenge in choppy conditions. A safety team consisting of boats from NSRI Station 10, lifesavers from Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club and SUP paddlers from Surfshack Paddle Centre, was on hand to look after the swimmers.
Carina Bruwer was the first woman home, and the first wetsuit swimmer, in a blistering 24.22, with Samantha Whelpton the first skins swimmer hot on her heels.
All thanks to sponsors, Sailfish, Fable Designs, Button Wear and Bumps 2 Babes Aquatic Centre. Special thanks to Darren Zimmerman (NSRI), Jeanne Topliss (Fish Hoek Lifesaving), Dave Chudleigh (Surfshack SUP) and Kerry Kopke (CLDSA) for their assistance.