One of the country’s most legendary open sea swimmers, Capetonian, Theodore Yach passed away peacefully on Wednesday afternoon.
Yach passed away at 60 years old during a routine visit to the hospital. The Cape Long Distance Swimming Association (CLDSA) said that during his visit to the hospital, the iconic swimmer collapsed and died.
“He was undergoing routine tests for an asthma complaint when he collapsed and passed away in hospital,” said CLDSA.
Known for his involvement in multiple cold water and long distance swims, he was renowned as an extreme cold water swimmer. Yach competed in over 108 Robben Island swims, an English Channel swim and various International swimming competitions in his lifetime. He broke 80 Robben Island record crossings, setting the bar high for open swimmers in SA.
Apart from his love for the water, Yach aimed to improve the city and founded the Cape Town Partnership & Central City Improvement District (CCID). He also acted Chairman for the CCID.
The CLDSA paid tribute to the passionate swimmer.
“He will be remembered as a humble gentleman, who loved motivating the youth to achieve their dreams. He was a friend to all and took interest in all swimmers who shared his passion for sea swimming,” CLDSA said.
Locals took to Twitter to share their grief in the passing of Yach, calling him the ‘King of Robben Island’ and pleading to change the annual competition to “The Theodore Yach Challenge” in his honour.
Rest In Peace Theodore Yach – the king of Robben Island. May your dedication to open water swimming in its purest form continue to inspire swimmers locally and abroad. What a loss.
— Carina Bruwer (@carinabruwer) October 18, 2018
@helenzille Helen, with the tragic & unexpected passing of Theodore yesterday: can the city not officially name the Robben Island to Cape Town swim ?♂️ The Theodore Yach Challenge to honour one of the city’s finest citizens? Record 108 swims completed. pic.twitter.com/ptc82tqJgE
— Mike Abel (@abelmike) October 18, 2018
Picture: EroSports Models