Cape Town swimmer Lisa Cowling streaked ahead of a field of 39 extreme swimmers last weekend to win a 5 km Atlantic Ocean race, which is notorious for great white sharks and icy water.

Lisa Cowling won the swim which was held in 12 degree water

The event, in 12 degree C sea, titled Shipwrecked, took the swimmers past the wreck of the Seli 1 in Blouberg and ended at Big Bay beach.

The swim was a qualifier for the Cadiz Freedom Swim, a 7.5km race from Robben Island to Big Bay on April 28, known as one of the most extreme swims of its kind in the world.

The start of the swim at Blouberg.

The majority of swimmers wore only Speedo costumes, caps and goggles. Cowling finished in just over one hour.

Table Mountain served as a majestic backdrop for the cold water swim

In the field were two Guinness world record holders, SA ice water swimmer Ram Barkai (for swimming lkin in an Antarctic lake) and Slovenian long distance swimmer, Martin Strel, who has swum several of the world’s greatest rivers.

Jeffreys Bay swimmer, Brenton Williams completed the 5 K event by swimming only butterfly. Williams is the only South African swimmer doing long distance butterfly in open water swim events.

South African swimmers will now shift their attention to the Midmar Mile, which is being held this coming weekend, with an estimated 20 000 swimmers taking part.

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