Cape Town. Thursday 18 June. Inspirational speaker and extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood has broken the record for crossings between Robben Island and the mainland, yesterday completing his 109th swim in a time of 2h34. The swim surpasses the record of 108 swims achieved by the late Theodore Yach in 2016.
Only days after the lockdown laws allowed Ryan access to the ocean, he set off from the rocks on Robben Island’s shore to swim to Blouberg beach, some 7,3kms as the crow flies. Wearing only a Speedo costume, goggles and a neoprene cap, Ryan entered the 14 degree Celsius waters, grossly under trained after being in lockdown with no water training access for over 10 weeks. He made it across to Blouberg beach in 2h34min.
Said Ryan, “When I arrived at the beach standing on the shore in my Speedo with the air temperature at 10C, looking over the bay’s 7,3kms of icy water, I knew it was going to be a tough one. Usually we train and condition our bodies hard for these attempts, but lockdown has not allowed it. I relied purely on muscle memory and determination to reach the beach yesterday and believe me it hurt.”
Ryan’s record swim will be ratified by Cape Long Distance Swimming Association. He has also achieved a very long list of highly commendable swims, including the notorious English Channel, a mile in sub-zero water conditions in Antarctica, double North Channel relay and a difficult attempt to solo swim from Russia to the USA which fell short.
Ryan concludes, “Lockdown has been brutal to us all. My own inspirational speaking and mindset workshop business has not escaped the impact. But once again, in that cold water yesterday, when the shore seems a million miles away and an impossible target, I remind myself that the mindset engaged and the work put in now, will make this highly uncomfortable and unsafe space seem like a distant memory the minute I walk out on that beach. Can’t wait to take these messages back on to the stages as the world opens up again”
Ryan says “I dedicate this crossing to my friend the late Theodore Yach who set the bar so high and who would surely still be doing so if he were alive today. I was exceptionally pleased to find my feet on the soft sand of Blouberg beach to confirm the success and give special thanks to Derrick Frazer of BigBay Events and Mark De Klerk for their invaluable support on this milestone crossing”.