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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

You Gotta Be Mad Swimmers

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Like Night Train Swimmers in California, the Mad Swimmer is a group of open water swimmers from South Africa. The group plans and attempts difficult and unique open water challenges around the world that also help raise money for a variety of charities.

Driven by Jean Craven with the help with Hardi Wilkins and Mona Van Eeden with a number of other swimmers, the group is planning the following swims this year:

June: Do the Mount Kenya Harris Tarn Swim

July: 14 km Knysna Marathon swim in the Ojos del Salado lagoon

November: 43 km Zanzibar to Pemba Relay Swim

November: Swim the lake on Mount Ojos del Salado at 6.4 km above sea level

2016: Hi/Low swim challenge with the crossing of Mount Ojos del Salado as the high swim and a crossing of the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel as the lowest swim

Their completed swims over the past 5 years include:

2014: Strait of Gibraltar - 4 hours 22 minutes (Spain to Morocco)

2015: 18.15 km solo crossing Sterkfontein Dam South Africa with Jean Craven, Terry Bantock, Megan Harrington-Johnson, Nadia Bacchini, Emil Berning, Duncan Kukard and Milton Brest in 5 hours 16 minutes, crossing the full length of the Sterkfontein Dam. The following did a relay: Mona van Eeden, Nadia Bacchini, Hardi Wilkins, Linda Main, Elaine Sinden, Dean Jones, Darren Madgwick, Georgina Dorelay, Chelsea Bosworth, Zia Hattingh, Jeandre Fourie, Wessel Jacobsz, Victoria Rose, Wilna Bonthuys and Kobie Odendaal.

2014: The 38.5 km Swim for Nsumbu on Lake Tanganyika from Tanzania in the east to Zambia in the west. Jean Craven was the only swimmer to complete the entire distance non-stop in 12 hours. The Madswimmer relay included Megan Harrington-Johnson, Michiel le Roux, Milton Brest, Gary Isbister, Jessica Comana, Elaine Sinden, Linda Main, Robert Dunford, Shaun Davy, Marcel du Toit and Marius de la Rey.

2014: Asia to North America from the Big Diomede Island (Russia) to the Little Diomede Island (USA). Milton Brest, Marius de la Rey, Jean Craven, Hardi Wilkins and Duncan Kukard swam the full distance. Ryan Stramrood did an ice swim (without wetsuit). See videos below.

2013: North America to South America by Jean Craven, Rob Dunford and Gerhard Zandberg who crossed 21.3 km in 7 hours 12 minutes across the Chagres River that is the natural split between North and South America. Michiel le Roux, Linda Main and Evan Feldman swam a relay.

2012: 21.1 km Red Sea crossing in 4 hours 55 minutes by Jean Craven, Robert Dunford and Michiel le Roux, supported by Johann Theron

2011: 23.3 km Australasia to Asia from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia (island of Papua) by Jean Craven with support from Andrew “Long Shanks” Mclaggan

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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