Whither, Sarah Ferguson?
Keen to get cracking on the second leg of her epic swim from Durban to Cape Town, but struggling for funding, ultra athlete Sarah Ferguson says that her swim is not about herself.
She says that the South African coastline is precious and spectacular, and that she is trying to highlight the urgency of all working together to protect it from plastic pollution, poaching, overfishing, seismic drilling and so much more.
Despite daily rough weather, high seas, cold water swims and exhausting boat rides earlier this year, extreme environmental activist Sarah Ferguson refused to back down from the toughest swim of her life, and the toughest message to sell – that of plastic pollution in the sea.
Sarah had been swimming from Durban to Cape Town, without a wetsuit, covering between 20 and 30km a day with a strong current-assist, to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the sea. In June, she hit the wall and the halfway mark and called a rain-check until November.
Sarah, a retired national SA swimmer and physiotherapist, who became the first person to swim the 63km around Easter Island in 2019, had always planned to break the 1500km swim, which she started in February, into two segments. She had planned to swim throughout April or until she reached Mossel Bay. However, recent cold fronts and strong winds, together with a lack of funding, forced Sarah and her team to call the swim earlier than planned, although she has still swum more than 760km in just 30 separate swims.
All along the coast, communities flocked to the beach to welcome Sarah in from her swim, and she spent time addressing schoolkids about marine pollution in various locations, including Port Alfred.
“Those of you who have been following my journey from Durban to Cape Town will be aware that I was hoping to resume swimming in November. Unfortunately, we have not yet secured funding for the second half of the swim and until we secure funding we can not resume swimming.
“It has been an incredibly tough year working hard at trying to find a sponsor as well as recover and prepare for the second half of the swim. I am ready to go, but need the finances, boat and team before I go again. The good news is we have secured a deal with SuperSport to air a 60-minute documentary of the One Ocean swim and hope that this will be more enticing to potential funders.
Thank you all for your support to date and continued encouragement and interest in this journey. It is a mammoth task that I have signed up for with my team and I can’t wait to get going again! Those who would like to donate can do so here (https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/breathe-fundraiser) , or if you have access to corporate funding or know any interested sponsors please DM me for details.” +27 827547930