Swimmers take on the Cold Water Classic in brutal weather

Icy conditions did little to deter the 33 swimmers who entered the 2017 JBay Winterfest Cold Water Swim Classic which was held yesterday at Marina Martinique.

The water was 13 C which ensured the Cold Water Classic, presented by Nicholas Melck, lived up to its reputation of being the most extreme swim in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

32 swimmers managed to complete the Cold Water Classic, with nine of them choosing to swim according to channel rules, which means they could only compete wearing a speedo type costume, goggles and a swim cap.

The bravest of these swimmers had to be 8 year old Issataya Bredell and her 10 year old sister Abriella, who completed the Mile and the Triple Mile respectively.

“The water was extremely cold but I swam with my coach Brenton Williams and we were swimming from one landmark to the next until I finished the Mile,” said Issataya Bredell.

“The organisers then took me into the medical tent where there were blankets and heaters and hot chocolate and it didn’t take long to warm up,” added Bredell.

Issataya Bredell during her gruelling Mile swim. Photo: Dirk Erasmus

19 year old Amy Erasmus won the Women’s Mile, with Ottie Marias winning the Mens Mile.

Defending Cold Water Classic Champion Rebecca Newman successfully defended her title and fisnished the Triple Mile in a time of 1:22:10 with young Abriella Bredell finishing the event in a time of 1:51:56.

Dieter Marais was the winner of the Men’s Triple Mile.

“The Cold Water Classic is my favourite swim event and conditions were tough with the strong winds and cloudy and rainy conditions with an air temperature of 9 C, but I just love the challenge,” said Newman.

Abriella Bredell became the youngest swimmer to ever complete the Triple Mile, which is an official qualifying swim for the notorious Robben Island crossing, regarded as one of the toughest swims in the world.

“Things got really tough on the third lap as my goggles were too tight and they were hurting my eye, which was quite swollen after the swim,” said Bredell.

“However, there were a lot of people encouraging me and they helped me to dig deep and complete the swim,” added Bredell.

The Cold Water Classic was presented by Nicholas Melck and supported by Oakley Sunglasses, First Choice and Edge Fitness Club.


1-Mile Cold Water Swim (Costume)


1 Amy Erasmus 36:14.2

2 Joy Van Der Walt 36:19.4

3 Issataya Bredell 46:34.8

1-Mile Cold Water Swim (Costume)


1 Ottie Marais 45:43.1

2 Johannes Robbertse 45:54.0

2-Mile Cold Water Swim (Costume)


1 Craig Sampson 1:17:08.9

3-Mile Cold Water Swim (Costume)


1 Rebecca Newman Port Elizabeth 1:22:10.6

2 Abriella Bredell 1:51:56.7

3-Mile Cold Water Swim (Costume)


1 Dieter Marais Uitenhage 1:39:14.6

1-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)

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1 Billie Mcnaughton 32:30.5

2 Katrien De Wet 33:14.7

3 Susan Derbyshire 33:20.7

4 Briggetta Mey 34:10.8

5 Val Orton 45:32.5

6 Donne Dickinson 47:41.8

7 Yolandi Wolstenholme 1:17:12.4

8 Mia Wolstenholme 1:17:19.3

1-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)


1 Kenneth Pattinson 26:51.5

2 Jared Cassidy 27:57.4

3 Murray Bailes 34:02.6

4 Xavier Janse Van Rensburg 41:28.9

2-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)


1 Shaelyn Walker 55:59.0

2 Michelle Mortimer 1:10:30.3

2-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)


1 Eben Haarhoff 49:05.6

2 Jaco Johan Potgieter 1:11:13.8

3 Sven Wusthoff Port Elizabeth 1:13:19.3

4 John Abbott Port Elizabeth 1:26:50.7

3-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)


1 Michelle Barnett 1:49:48.8

2 Katy Hofmeyr Pe 1:54:43.6

3-Mile Cold Water Swim (Wetsuit)


1 Ralph West Port Elizabeth 1:21:03.5

2 Greg Hough Port Elizabeth 1:31:09.7

3 Anton Kerdey Leningrad 1:35:45.7

All photos by Dirk Erasmus

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