A Cape Town single father is beaming with pride after successfully completing his 109th crossing from Robben Island to Blouberg Beach on Wednesday.
Ryan Stramrood, 46, is an international motivational speaker and mindset trainer with a passion for open water swimming.
His swim surpasses a record set by the late Theodore Yach in 2016, who made 108 crossings.
Yach died in 2018 after being admitted to a hospital with asthmatic complaints.
After being in Covid-19 lockdown from the ocean, Stramrood had no means of practising, but as soon as he was able to get to the sea, and dressed in nothing but a Speedo, swimming goggles and a cap, he took to the 14-degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
“When I arrived at the beach standing on the shore in my Speedo with the air temperature at 10 degrees, 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 the lockdown has not allowed it.
“I relied purely on muscle memory and determination to reach the beach yesterday and believe me, it hurt,” Stramrood said.
He managed to complete the swim in two-hours and 34 minutes.
Although he knows he beat the record, it still has to be confirmed by the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association.
Stramrood previously completed swims in the English Channel, in sub-zero water conditions in Antarctica, did the double North Channel relay, and attempted a solo swim from Russia to America.
Stramrood said he applied his mindset training during the swim.
“In that cold water [on Wednesday], when the shore seemed a million miles away and an impossible target, I reminded myself that the mindset engaged and the work put in now, will make a highly uncomfortable and unsafe space seem like a distant memory the minute I walk out on that beach,” he said.
Stramrood dedicated his journey to Yach, whom he described as a dear friend that had set the bar exceptionally high.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo