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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Speedo Ice Swim In Africa Draws An Extreme Crowd

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Craig Doonan announced that 30 extreme swimmers will enter the one-mile Speedo Ice Swim on July 17th in one of Africa’s coldest regions in a mid-winter adventure in Fraserburg, South Africa. In what is expected to be sub-5°C (41°F) water temperatures, cold-water veteran Ram Barkai will headline the Ice Swim, five hours from Cape Town.

Barkai advised the key to succeeding in the Ice Swim is mental, "It’s all in the mind. Most of the time we are the main obstacle in the way to doing things we never thought possible. So, get out of your way and let yourself do the impossible. But respect the challenge and prepare yourself." After completing the world's most southerly swim in Antarctica in 2008, Barkai has embarked on a Cold Continent Challenge where he plans to do an ice swim (5°C or colder) on every continent.

Besides Barkai, Andrew Chin, who swam in Lake Zurich in Switzerland in winter, Ryan Stramrood and Kieron Palframan, both English Channel swimmers, and Toks Viviers, a Robben Island and Pennock Island (Alaska) veteran will participate in the mile swim.

In addition to the Ice Swim for the most hardened ice swimmers, 30 other athletes will attempt a 600-meter Endurance Swim on July 17th where the average air temperature is minus 10°C.

At the venue, the owners of Die Kliphuis Restaurant en Herberg, Herman and Ronel le Roux have been working with Doonan to prepare for the event. "We’re very excited. This type of event can boost tourism in Fraserburg. The whole town is excited and we really feel privileged it is being held here. We encourage people to come along to watch this unique event."

More photos are posted here.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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