If you have what it takes to swim the Waterfront Canal Challenge, get ready! The event is back and will be held on 19 October 2019 in the V&A Waterfront’s Battery Park Precinct. It comprises a 1-mile (1600m)  and half mile  (800m) open water swim starting at Battery Park, and following a circular route past the One and Only Hotel finishing back at Battery Park. The swim offers categories for both wetsuit and skins swimmers of all ages and water temperature on the day is expected to be between 14 & 16 degrees. The 2018 event saw 250 swimmers take to the chilly water including Olympian open water swimmer Michelle Weber and the late Robben Island crossing veteran, Theodore Yach.

Some of South Africa’s top athletes will be pitting themselves against each other in an invitation-only Elite 1-mile swim and to date, confirmed entrants include Michelle Weber. The winner of the elite swim will be awarded the Waterfront Canal Challenge Theodore Yach Elite Mile Trophy in honour of Cape Town’s much-loved open water swimming mentor who was the Waterfront Canal Challenge’s ambassador in 2018. Yach holds the record for the highest number of Robben Island Crossings at 108. This year, the event is proud to announce Michelle Weber and Ryan Stramrood – a Cape Town local, world renowned ultra-extreme open water and ice swimmer – as swim ambassadors of the Waterfront Canal Challenge.

An especially exciting new development is the event’s collaboration with the Cape Town International Boat Show which will be held at the V&A Waterfront on the same weekend and race entrants will receive two free tickets to the show. This means that swim spectators and participants will be able to enjoy a full day filled with entertainment and activities spread out across the popular tourist attraction.

A key goal of the Waterfront Canal Challenge is to raise awareness around plastic pollution and how the public can assist in turning the tide on single-use plastics ‘one wave at a time’. Spectators will be able to participate in an “Art from Trash” competition, open to all primary and high schools.  This initiative, supported by the Two Oceans Aquarium, is yet another interactive way for families to enjoy the day out.

“We received such fantastic feedback from the swimming community on the first event that hosting the 2nd Waterfront Canal Challenge was an easy decision thanks to the ongoing support of the V&A Waterfront. We hope to raise some substantial funding for the Waterfront Rotary Club projects which include the upgrade of 40 Early Childhood Development Centres in Langa, libraries in various schools across the city, our Entrepreneurship and Mentoring programme and our Youth projects. “Our club is looking forward to another successful year!” says Waterfront Rotary Club President Derek Pead.

The Waterfront Canal Challenge takes place on Saturday, 19 October 2019 at the V&A Waterfront’s Battery Park Precinct. The invitation-only Elite 1-mile will begin at 12h30 and the remaining waves of 1-mile and 800 m swims will commence at 09h30. Awards will be presented during the morning with the final Theodore Memorial Trophy at 13h30.  Participants can enter at www.waterfrontcanalchallenge.co.za

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 19 years of journalism experience. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.