A long standing South African swim record was broken on 31 December at Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay when Brenton Williams completed a 17 K butterfly swim to cap a fine year of swimming.
The legendary Chris Barnard swam 15 K fly in April 1994 and its taken 18 years for another South African to take up the challenge and Williams did exactly that when he set a new record of 17 K butterfly. The swim took 6 hours and 20 minutes to complete.
2012 was a big year for the extreme swimmer from Jeffreys Bay who, together with five team mates, set a new world record for a continual open water relay swim of 350 K. The swim took place over five days in March and was also swum in Marina Martinique.
Earlier in December, Williams set a new world record when he became the first person ever to swim butterfly between 3 Anchor Bay and Robben Island, a distance of 11.5 Km in 12 degree water.
He was also a nominee for the World Open Water Swim Association’s performance of the year, for a tough 8 K butterfly swim at St Helena Bay, on the west coast of South Africa in October.
“The South African record of 17 K was a very difficult swim and the last 5 K was a grind as my shoulders felt that they were seizing up and there was a problem with my right knee”, said Williams. “The water was also warm at 24.8 degrees C and it felt like I was overheating at one stage. The past 6 months my training has been focused on cold water for the Robben Island swim so it was an adaption to try handle warmer water”.
“I wanted to do a big swim in Jeffreys Bay as this is where I live and train and the support of my friends at the Marina really made a difference as it helped me to dig deep and swim through the pain. The support over the last 2 K was fantastic and will stay with me forever”.
Open water swim coaching will start at Marina Martinique at 5.30 pm on Tuesday and Thursday evening from next week. Stroke technique, fitness as well tips on how to swim in the open water will be included in the sessions. Email [email protected] for more information.