Swimmer’s Umhlanga to Durban challenge

2014-07-05 00:00

SARAH Ferguson (32) will today swim the longest distance she has ever swum — 16,5 kilometres from Umhlanga to Durban.

The Durban North physiotherapist and swimmer, who once represented South Africa, said in an interview yesterday that the aim was to raise funds for charity. But the swim is also a stepping stone for her channel crossing from the islands of Hawaii to Maui.

She is swimming for the “I am Water” and “Deep and Beyond” charities, both of which are designed to help disabled and disadvantaged people become aware of the ocean and its conservation through adventure.

She said that as far as she knows, today is the only the second time that the swim from Umhlanga to Durban has ever been completed.

She was a competitive swimmer between 1997 and 2009, but she now swims for fun and for charity. She is a regular winner among the women swimmers in Durban’s popular Dolphin Mile Swim Series, and during training three to four times a week, completes anything between two to six kilometres per session.

Two months ago, Ferguson completed a 12 km swim, completing the seven kilometre Four Elements Ocean Challenge from Blue Lagoon to the Harbour Wall, and then choosing to swim back, which was the furthest she had ever swum.

Ferguson said sea conditions are expected to be fine today, “fairly flat with a little bit of swell”.

She will swim in a straight line from Umhlanga, which means that she will be quite far out to sea until about opposite the stadium, where she will swim closer to shore and inside the shark nets.

When asked about the possibility of sharks, she said she will rely on her safety team, who will accompany her on a jetski and two surfskis to keep her safe.

She is expected to reach the Durban Marine Surf Club between 11 am and noon today.

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