PORT Elizabeth swimmer PJ Duffy battled cold water and the infamous South Easter wind to win the third ever Seli Shipwreck Races in Cape Town.
Duffy finished the 5km swim from Blouberg to Big Bay in just under an hour.
Event organiser and owner of Big Bay Events Derrick Frazer said Duffy was among seven open water swimmers from Port Elizabeth who tackled the strong tides and icy waters to complete the swim last Sunday.
The others are Kevin Grey, Peter Turner, Richden Jute, Ian Geddes, Rob Geddes and Duncan Edwards.
“This is the third Seli race we have hosted and it is always challenging for the competitors. The cold water and heavy surf made it very challenging on the day as the 37 competitors had to compete with a strong south-easter,” Frazer said.
“These are seasoned competitors with most of them already having swum the Robben Island crossing before.
“This year I am proud to confirm that PE racer PJ Duffy took the title.”
The swimmers then competed in the 7.5km Robben Island Crossing from the island to Big Bay – an extreme swim in which no wetsuits are allowed.
Grey said: “The most challenging part of the swim was having to deal with the cold and the inevitable hypothermia.
“We were able to swim along with the seals and dolphins.”
Duffy could not be reached for comment.