Courtesy of Kane Kossew, Cape Town, South Africa. Photos courtesy of Shawn Benjamin.

58-year-old Theodore Yach started his journey between Robben Island and Cape Town in November 1981. More than 34 years later, he completed his Century Swim (100th crossing) in 3 hours 10 minutes in 13-14ºC (53-55ºF) waters from Robben Island.

Today, Yach was accompanied by six other swimmers – Toni Enderli, Kieron Palframan, Ryan Stramrood, Mark De Klerk, Buff van Westenbrugge and Dean Noik – along the 10.4 km route from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay as they battled a strong current and the looming threat of Cape Town’s Great White Sharks. When they walked up on shore, they were joined the hundreds of spectators at Three Anchor Bay beach in celebration of Yach’s record.

Back in 1981, swimming from Robben Island was not a goal or an achievement among the global community of open water swimmers. But over the three decades, the sport – especially within South Africa – has tremendously changed.

But there has been one constant: Yach’s crossings from Robben Island. Sometimes he swam the shorter 7.4 km route from Robben Island to Blouberg; sometimes, he swam the longer 10.2 km route from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay.

He was honoured to have the backing of the City of Cape Town that offered Yach their full support in recognition of his service to the city over the past 20 years and be recognized by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Calm and composed as usual, Yach emerged from the cold water to describe his Century Swim, “I am so relieved to have finally accomplished this milestone and to have the amazing support of everyone on the beach. I feel truly blessed from the love and support of my family, friends and the Cape Town community.”

Theodore believes strongly that his swims need to make a difference and has been working with six charities to raise funds in the name of his 100th Robben Island Crossing. The charities include The Children’s Hospital Trust, Paper Video, NSRI Water wise Project, Wynberg Boys’ Schools Aquatic centre, Highlands House and the The Herzlia Foundation Trust.

Donations can be made via www.centurycrossing.co.za. All charities are registered as PBO’s (Public Benefit Organisations) and are able to issue 18a Tax Certificates to donors to enable them to deduct the donations from their tax.

Ricardo Mackenzie MPP, Democratic Alliance member of the Provincial Parliament and Chairperson of Premier Committee and Chairperson of Cultural Affairs and Sport, gave tribute to Yach’s decades-long efforts to continue challenging himself while raising money for others. “It is important to recognise the achievements of Theodore Yach. He encourages young sporting enthusiasts to put their talents to use and make a meaningful contribution in their communities and lives. We strongly believe that our youth need role models they can aspire to. The late great Nelson Mandela is often quoted as saying, ‘It (sport) has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.’

We share Mr Mandela’s sentiments and believe that sport in our society means more than just playing a game, but highlights endless possibilities. Possibility to change one’s circumstances and the possibility to unite otherwise divided societies. We therefore urge our youth to invest their time in sports and contribute to nation building
.”

Century Swim List:
#1 on 25 November 1981 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 1 hours 54 minutes #2 on 31 October 1987 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 24 minutes
#3 on 5 March 1988 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 27 minutes
#4 on 12 May 1988 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 54 minutes
#5 on 22 December 1988 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 6 hours 53 minutes
#6 on 22 December 1988 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 6 hours 53 minutes
#7 on 2 June 1991 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
#8 on 23 February 1993 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 21 minutes
#9 on 14 August 1993 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
#10 on 7 May1994 from Camps Bay to Robben Island in 5 hours 30 minutes
#11 on 14 May 1995 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 14 minutes
#12 on 17 February 1996 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 54 minutes
#13 on 19 May 1996 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 58 minutes
#14 on 20 December 1997 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 17 minutes
#15 on 22 February 1998 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 18 minutes
#16 on 1 May 1998 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
#17 on 3 October 1998 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 26 minutes
#18 on 2 January 1999 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
#19 on 1 May 1999 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 15 minutes
#20 on 6 November 1999 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
#21 on 18 November 1999 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 10 minutes
#22 on 30 December 1999 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 33 minutes
#23 on 10 June 2000 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 31 minutes
#24 on 14 October 2000 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
#25 on 3 March 2001 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 38 minutes
#26 on 1 May 2001 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 42 minutes
#27 on 18 May 2001 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
#28 on 16 June 2001 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 1 minutes
#29 on 23 September 2001 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 3 hours 9 minutes
#30 on 2 March 2002 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 12 minutes
#31 on 11 May 2002 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 18 minutes
#32 on 2 June 2002 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 36 minutes
#33 on 30 December 2002 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 19 minutes
#34 on 1 March 2003 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 23 minutes
#35 on 26 April 2003 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
#36 on 31 May 2003 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 16 minutes
#37 on 19 October 2003 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 59 minutes
#38 on 30 November 2003 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 13 minutes
#39 on 27 March 2004 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 3 minutes
#40 on 14 April 2004 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
#41 on 30 January 2005 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 44 minutes
#42 on 11 September 2005 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
#43 on 18 February 2006 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 38 minutes
#44 on 5 March 2006 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 5 minutes
#45 on 12 May 2006 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 22 minutes
#46 on 5 January 2007 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 15 minutes
#47 on 17 February 2007 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 21 minutes
#48 on 31 March 2007 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
#49 on 1 May 2007 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 14 minutes
#50 on 4 April 2008 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 5 minutes
#51 on 27 April 2008 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 54 minutes
#52 on 28 September 2008 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 43 minutes
#53 on 26 April 2009 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
#54 on 28 November 2009 from Three Anchor Bay to Round Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 10 hours 39 minutes
#55 on 28 November 2009 from Three Anchor Bay to Round Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 10 hours 39 minutes
#56 on 2 May 2010 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 51 minutes
#57 on 4 December 2010 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
#58 on 18 December 2010 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 2 hours 58 minutes
#59 on 13 February 2011 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
#60 on 19 March 2011 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 49 minutes
#61 on 25 August 2011 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 45 minutes
#62 on 25 September 2011 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 36 minutes
#63 on 29 January 2012 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 33 minutes
#64 on 18 March 2012 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
#65 on 29 July 2012 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 27 minutes
#66 on 16 September 2012 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 27 minutes
#67 on 2 October 2012 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
#68 on 15 December 2012 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
#69 on 17 February 2013 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 45 minutes
#70 on 6 March 2013 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 29 minutes
#71 on 11 May 2013 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
#72 on 17 June 2013 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 35 minutes
#73 on 10 July 2013 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 4 minutes
#74 on 2 October 2013 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
#75 on 3 November 2013 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 47 minutes
#76 on 24 November 2013 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
#77 on 27 December 2013 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 4 hours 20 minutes
#78 on 26 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 24 minutes
#79 on 1 March 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
#80 on 29 March 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 13 minutes
#81 on 8 April 2014 from Llandudno to Robben Island in 7 hours 3 minutes
#82 on 28 June 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 14 minutes
#83 on 30 July 2014 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 31 minutes
#84 on 17 August 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
#85 on 7 November 2014 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
#86 on 29 November 2014 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 52 minutes
#87 on 1 January 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
#88 on 24 January 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
#89 on 15 March 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 8 minutes
#90 on 30 March 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 21 minutes
#91 on 12 April 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 15 minutes
#92 on 17 May 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
#93 on 20 June 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 34 minutes
#94 on 9 October 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 43 minutes
#95 on 22 November 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg on 2 hours 0 minutes
#96 on 6 December 2015 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 1 hour 59 minutes
#97 on 17 December 2015 from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 4 hours 36 minutes
#98 16 January 2016 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
#99 13 February 2016 from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
#100 22 March 2016 from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 10 minutes



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