Local teen completes Robben Island Crossing

2016-01-13 06:00
Debbie Frazer, Amy Erasmus and Toni Enderli after Amy and Toni successfully completed the Robben Island Crossing. Photo: SUPPLIED

Debbie Frazer, Amy Erasmus and Toni Enderli after Amy and Toni successfully completed the Robben Island Crossing. Photo: SUPPLIED

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ALEXANDER Road High pupil, Amy Erasmus (17), successfully completed her first Robben Island crossing on December 18.

Amy was accompanied by English Channel swimmer and motivational speaker, Toni Enderli, who helped guide her until her hands reached sand.

Also accompanying her, was her support crew, Derrick and Debbie Frazer from Big Bay Events.

A large pod of dolphins also spent a few exhilarating moments swimming with them. Not to be left out of the limelight three humpback whales decided to pop past and check on the swimmers as well.

“After the acute disappointment of aborting a swim in extreme conditions in May 2015, we were over the moon to advise Amy that the weather forecast was looking promising for an attempt at the extreme open water crossing. The crossing from Robben Island to Blouberg covers a distance of 7.4km in the hostile Atlantic Ocean where the cold water ensures only very well prepared swimmers can succeed,” said Derrick Frazer, who is also a committee member of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association.

The promised conditions materialized on the day and after checking and double checking safety equipment, electronic shark shields, swimmers’ feeds and drinks they launched the IRB and made their way to Robben Island.

At 7.55am Amy, clad in a swimming costume, single swimming cap and goggles, raised her hand and plunged into the cold Atlantic waters and started swimming towards Blouberg.

Support on the IRB guided her on the shortest route towards Big Bay on the Blou-berg coast and carried her feeds.

Scheduled feeding took place every 30 minutes to ensure she maintained her strength and energy reserves as the cold water forces the body to work hard to maintain a functional core temperature.

At 10.32am Amy walked clear of the water and achieved her dream of completing this gruelling swim.

“The smiles and excitement bursting from her face hid the effort and pain that she had pushed her body through for the previous 2 hours and 37 minutes,” Frazer said.

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