Robben Island to Big Bay Open Water Sea Swim

On 2 April 2011 Liesl swam from Robben Island to Big Bay, considered one of the world’s most extreme, dangerous sea swims.

Hypothermia, sharks, jelly fish, blue bottles and strong currents are only a few of the dangers I faced. Swimming 5.6 miles/ 9 km in just under 4 hours is not for the faint hearted.

She swam this swim to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy and trained 9 months for the swim. Going to gym 4 days a week, doing weights training, and swimming sea swims twice on weekends was the only way to prepare physically for this swim. The mental preparation was intense and there was NO space for fear. There is just no allowing your mind to start wondering what is beneath you in the pit of darkness…how far would I be able to see something “come at me”.

The sea was rough and the boat crew felt slightly seasick. Swells were heavy and even the support boat crew felt sea sick.
“It felt like the Island followed me and the beach was drifting away from me”, Liesl said. “This swim was the by far one of the loneliest experiences I have ever had. When things got tough, cramps due to the freezing water I would think of my kids waiting for me on the beach” she continued.

The swim was something she dreamed of doing since the age of 8 and she proved, on her 40th birthday, it’s never too late to follow your dreams, something she now teaches in her motivational programs.

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