Now in its 5th year, the Cold Water Swim Classic, presented by Nicholas Melck, has become one of the core events on the calendar of the JBay Winterfest.
With water temperatures ranging from an icy 11C to a “warm” 14C last year, the Classic lives up to its billing as an extreme event.
Swimmers have the option of wearing a wetsuit or swimming according to channel rules, which means wearing only a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap when taking on the Mile and Double Mile events.
However, the Triple Mile, being an official qualifying swim for the notorious Robben island crossing is only open to swimming wearing nothing more than a speedo.
The Robben Island crossing is a 7.6 km swim between Blouberg Beach and the Island and is regarded as being one of the toughest swims in the world.
While in recent years the swim has been opened to swimmers wearing wetsuits, the majority of swimmers still prefer to take on the crossing in a speedo.
“The Cold Water Classic is a perfect training swim for anybody wanting to prepare for Robben Island and is the only recognised cold water swim in the Eastern Cape,” said event organiser Brenton Williams.
“The Triple Mile is a qualifying swim, meaning the Cape Long Distance Swim Association will allow all the swimmers who complete the event to apply to swim Robben Island.
With its salt water canals, Marina Martinique has long been regarded as one of the finest open water swim venues in the world, through the JBay Winterfest, the Marina is also now becoming known as a genuine cold water swim venue as well.
This year all eyes will be on two young swimmers who will be testing themselves in the frigid waters of Marina Martinique.
Ten year old Abriella Bredell will be attempting the Triple Mile as part of her journey to become the youngest swimmer to ever swim from Robben Island to Blouberg, while her little sister Issataya (8years) will be aiming at becoming the youngest swimmer to ever complete the Mile at the Cold Water Classic.
Both of the youngsters are regular swimmers on Sunday mornings at Marina Martinique as they go about training to accomplish their goals.
“Getting into the cold water is really tough and then it feels like your skin is on fire but I am getting used to it and should be ready to swim the Mile at the Cold Water Classic,” said Issataya.
The final training swim for the Cold Water Classic will be held on 9 July at Marina Martinique and all swimmers and welcome to join.
Online entries for the event can be done via https://www.zsports.co.za/coldwaterclassic