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Overcoming Obstacles

Courtesy of Madswimmer.

The concept behind Madswimmer started when Jean Craven was on his honeymoon and stood on the Rock of Gibraltar looking across the water to Morocco. The South African extreme athlete thought, “I’m sure I can swim this.”

In 2009, a bet of R100,000 saw him and a friend swim the 14.4 km Strait of Gibraltar. He felt sorry for taking betting money from friends, so they donated the money to charity. That planted the idea of annual open water swims to help change the fate of thousands of disadvantaged children.

Since then, Madswimmer has completed six intercontinental swims and various other extreme swims that has led to over $500,000 for children’s charities. “By risking our lives, we are investing everything. If we don’t, how can we expect sponsors to invest? Facing threats of sharks, hypothermia and deadly sea currents might mean we’re MAD but we have to be even madder not to care,” summarizes Craven.

This year, the swimming benefactors completed the 7.9 km Pan-American Colibrí Crossing between California, USA and Tijuana, Mexico on May 5th and the 100 km Balaeric Island Challenge, a four-day stage swim between the Balaeric Islands at the end of August.

Madswimmer has two swims coming up: the 34 km Bazaruto Island Swim in Mozambique on October 28th and the 100 km Great Shark Swim on December 1st.

The Madswimmer East Africa franchise will swim the 34 km length of Bazaruto Island in Mozambique from north to south that is estimated to take between 9 and 10 hours. To donate, visit here.

Their Great Shark Swim will take them along the Agulhas Current with the goal to swim 100 km in under 12 hours from Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal to Mbotyi Wild Coast on the Eastern Cape on South Africa.

For more information, visit

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