Lighthouse to Big Bay Swim

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The Lighthouse to Big Bay Swim is planned as a regular annual event in Cape Town. This is an extreme swim due to the ice cold sea conditions experienced in the Atlantic Ocean. This swim is limited to 50 swimmers for logistical reasons. The inaugural event happened on the 12, May, 2012 and is expected to be an annual event.

Lighhouse to Big Bay Swim - Flyer


10.5Km - From Milnerton Lighthouse to Big Bay, Bloubergstrand


Ocean Swim - Expected Sea temperatures: Between 9°C and 15°C. Between 2 and 4 meter swells.


City Cape Town, Western Cape
Country South Africa
Region Africa

2012 Inaugural Event

The inaugural event kicked off at 11:30am, an hour later that scheduled due to thick mist brought on by the light westerly wind. The conditions were ideal. Almost zero wind forecast for the day, a 1.5 to 2 meter swell running resulting in some nice surf at the start, but once through the surf the sea was flat. Water temperature 13°C, and once the mist lifted a clear sunny day with a air temperature forecast of around 22°C.

24 swimmers jumped in, escorted by SUP, surf paddlers and canoes. The fastest time was 2:30:29 and the slowest time was 4:08:34.

Medical Report

As part of a research project carried out by Sean Gottschalk, all swimmer's pulse and body temperatures were taken at the start and end of the swim. There are three reasons for doing this:-

1) Safety - ie. checking swimmers temps before and after helps with assessment of hypothermia.
2) Athletes' individual data - to help swimmers get a better understanding of their own physiological changes in the cold water.
3) Pooled data - Putting everyone's data together to see the changes in the group as a whole, and compare individuals to the average.

2012 Results:-

Average Pre / Post Race Temperature 36.8°C / 33.7°C. Average drop in temperature: 3.1°C
Average Pre / Post Race Heart Rate: 73/min / 94/min. Average change: 21/min
Average swim time: 3:17:00
Average Water temperature: 13°C


Name Derrick Frazer

Event Information

Month: May

Event Date: Annual Event


Facebook Page = Lighthouse Swim

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