Fifteen members of UCT's Aquatics club took a dip in the 2008 Cadiz Vista Nova Freedom Swim, in which about 200 swimmers braved the icy waters to swim from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand on 27 April.
The event is held in recognition of Freedom Day, which celebrates the first South African democratic elections. Swimmers are taken to Robben Island, then "escape" to the Atlantic coast, a hardy 7.5km swim.
The real challenge though is not the distance, but the temperature. The swim is known as the world's most extreme cold water event, with sea temperatures as cold as 12deg C. Because of this, hypothermia is the swimmer's greatest challenge.
Competing with three solo swimmers and three relay teams of four swimmers each, UCT Aquatics did extremely well. Team Sweet Deal of Rodney Armstrong, James Todd, Jason Jamieson and Lee Hill won the relay, and the Armchair Pirates - Cole Acutt, Rowan Dunne, Hugh Jacobs, Stephen O'Rahilly - placed third. All but one swimmer, who had to pull out a mere hundred metres from the finish because of hypothermia, finished the gruelling swim.
In turn, Ra'eesah Hendricks, Lara Truter and Stella Inggs went solo. The solo race was won by ex-UCT swimmer and national heroine Natalie Du Toit, who managed to beat last year's winner Tyron Venter of Pretoria by almost five minutes.
"It bears mentioning that this year's race was one of the toughest so far," reported Acutt.
It's official. UCT student William Robinson has won the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Trophy for the best combined times in this year's events. Robinson, a doctoral student in mathematics and a member of both the university's athletics and cycling clubs, clocked 2:40:03 in the Cape Argus/Pick ? Pay Cycle Tour and followed that up with a 3:52:57 finish in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. The trophy was handed to Robinson at the Argus prize-giving ceremony last week.
UCT student Eugene Pelteret captained the touring South African under-21 hockey side that took on Pakistan recently. Following that, Pelteret joined the national under-21 squad for a training camp in Potchefstroom in the run-up to the All Africa Games in Cairo in July.
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