Marathon swimmer goes extra mile for charity

GOOD CAUSE: Capetonian marathon swimmer Carina Bruwer is helped out the water at Bluewater Bay after having swum from Pollok Beach, in 5 hours 15 min, in support of Muzukidz
GOOD CAUSE: Capetonian marathon swimmer Carina Bruwer is helped out the water at Bluewater Bay after having swum from Pollok Beach, in 5 hours 15 min, in support of Muzukidz
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

Marathon swimmer, musician and mother of three, Carina Bruwer, of Cape Town, became the first woman to complete an 18km swim across Algoa Bay on Friday, in just over five hours.

Bruwer took on the swim in aid of the Port Elizabeth branch of Muzukidz, an organisation that offers underprivileged children the opportunity to learn the violin.

She embarked on her swim at 8am from Pollok Beach and finished at the Bluewater Bay main beach at 1.15pm.

About ahour-and-a-half after the swim, online donations were sitting at R21,000 and counting.

Shortly after the swim, a tired Bruwer said: “I’ll be honest it wasn’t an easy swim because the water was quite rough and very cold from the beginning, which made me quite nervous because five hours is a long time to swim in chilly water.”

Bruwer said she was happy with her result as she had planned to finish the swim in five to six hours.

The 40-year-old was welcomed ashore by members of the Adventure Swims ZA team and placed in a preheated car to warm up.

“I’m still quite cold but feeling very happy that I succeeded and had such a wonderful team to work with,” she said.

Adventure Swims ZA director Ralph West said Bruwer’s performance had been impressive and had displayed her resilience.

“She did great, even though the conditions became difficult at the end.

“It was an absolute pleasure to host her.

“We had great support from the harbour master and safety teams to ensure a safe swim,” West said.

Bruwer was seen off by a group of Muzukidz students at Pollok Beach in the morning.

“They [students] are so lovely and talented and they’re the reason I’m here — for my little contribution to their happiness,” she said.

Over the past 20 years, three male swimmers have crossed the bay.

PE swimmer and adventurer Kyle Main did the 20km crossing from Hobie beach to Coega on two occasions (the first of which was in 2000), while Chris Malan completed a 15km swim across the bay in 2003 at the age of 15, a route which internationally-renowned Lewis Pugh also followed in 2006.

“I’d love to do this again and I would like for some people with the same passion to join me next time to swim for hope together,” Bruwer said.

X