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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flying Into A Happy New Year

Brenton Williams celebrated the New Year with a well-deserved rest.

On December 31st, he set a South African record for the longest open water butterfly swim. "I was trying to push the boundaries of what is possible doing fly," said the Jeffreys Bay maverick of his 6 hour 20 minute 17 km fly in Marina Martinique.

Back in 1994, Chris Barnard set the previous standard with a 15 km butterfly swim. Williams upped that record to 17 km effort.

2012 was quite a year for the extreme butterflyer from Jeffreys Bay who, together with five teammates, started his aquatic rampage with a new world record for a continuous open water relay swim of 350 km over 5 days in March in Marina Martinique.

Williams also set a record when he became the first person to swim butterfly between 3 Anchor Bay and Robben Island, a distance of 11.5 km in 12ºC (53ºF) water. He was also nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for a tough 8 km butterfly swim at St Helena Bay on the west coast of South Africa in October.

"The South African record of 17 km was a very difficult swim. The last 5 km was a grind as my shoulders felt that they were seizing up and there was a problem with my right knee. The water was warm at 24.8ºC (76ºF). It felt like I was overheating at one stage. The past 6 months my training has been focused on cold water for the Robben Island swim so it was an adaption to try handle warmer water. I wanted to do a big swim in Jeffreys Bay as this is where I live and train. The support of my friends at the Marina really made a difference as it helped me to dig deep and swim through the pain. The support over the last 2 km was fantastic and will stay with me forever."

Photos courtesy of RRAD Photography and Clive Wright.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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