Two Robben Island swim records for Cape Town adventure swimmer Kim Prytz

Kim Prytz during her herculean 14 hour, 31 minute swim to Robben Island.

Imagine swimming nearly 20 kilometres through the chilly waters of Table Bay for nearly 15 hours.

That’s exactly what Cape Town adventure swimmer Kim Prytz, 49, did.

Prytz became the first person to successfully swim the 19.8km distance from Lagoon Beach, Cape Town, to Robben Island, completing the marathon swim in 14 hours, 31 minutes and three seconds.

She also broke another record – completing the swim doing breaststroke all the way, achieving a feat she last attempted almost a year ago.

Setting off at 11.51pm on January 3, about 100m from the Milnerton lighthouse, Prytz had to calm her mind and focus on the task at hand in order to brave the 12.8-degree water temperatures. Without a wetsuit, this was no easy feat.

This was her fourth attempt.

“The most onerous part of the swim was from two kilometres to the finish – there was an interminable period where I couldn’t believe I was moving. The final push, just like giving birth, was excruciating due to the currents and having swum for more than 14 hours.”

With only two kilometres left, Prytz struggled with fatigue, nausea, and freezing temperatures, needing all her strength for the last push to the finish line.

Prytz’s ‘Reconciliation Swim’ was done to help raise funds for the Goedgedacht Trust, that helps rural children.

“We are delighted that Kim chose Goedgedacht as her charity of choice,” marketing manager Valerie Govender said. “Our Path Onto Prosperity centres are not just beacons of hope in the rural communities of the Swartland but catalysts for a brighter future too. We are so very grateful for friends like Kim who support our work and allow us to make a difference where it matters most.”

Big Bay events was there to monitor and record Prytz’s successful fifth attempt. Prytz was sure to thank all of her supporters.

“My gratitude to everyone who helped me with this journey – the failed attempts and this grand adventure – whilst my ultimate surrender of self was necessary, I am ever mindful that it does indeed take a community to make success happen. Thank you all.”

Prytz teaches singing and piano, and is an avid karate practitioner and instructor. Her daily practice of Qi Gong and Tai Chi formed part of her training regime and helped her complete several other record-breaking swims, including being the first person in the world to swim across the Sound of Iona in Scotland in May 2023, in waters as cold as 10 degrees Celsius.

* To help support Kim Prytz and Goedgedacht Olive Peace Garden’s Path Onto Prosperity, please donate to: Olive Peace Grove via this link.

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