Cold Water Classic an icy success

2017-07-20 06:00
The bravest of these swimmers had to be 8-year-old Issataya Bredell who completed the Mile.                                                      Photo:DIRK ERASMUS

The bravest of these swimmers had to be 8-year-old Issataya Bredell who completed the Mile. Photo:DIRK ERASMUS

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

With the water temperature dropping to a frigid 13 degrees Celsius, the Cold Water Swim presented by Nicholas Melck, lived up to its reputation of being the most extreme swim in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Some 32 swimmers managed to complete the Cold Water Classic, with nine of them choosing to swim according to channel rules - wearing only 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,” says 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.”

Amy Erasmus (19) won the Women’s Mile, with Ottie Marias winning the Men’s Mile.

Defending Cold Water Classic Champion Rebecca Newman successfully defended her title and finished 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,” says 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,” says Bredell. “However, there were a lot of people encouraging me and they helped me to dig deep and complete the swim.”

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