J-Bay girl may become youngest to swim Robben Island channel

Great white sharks do not worry 10-year-old ju-jitsu student Abriella Bredell.

Jellyfish will be more of a concern for the Jeffreys Bay schoolgirl when she tries to become the youngest person ever to complete the Robben Island channel open water swim off Cape Town.

Abriella will take on the 7.6km swim‚ through a busy shipping lane and in 12°C water‚ from Big Bay to the historic island in December.

The crossing is considered one of the most treacherous open water swims in the world.

The Grade 5 pupil from Victory Christian School, who learnt to swim at the age of two‚ is undergoing rigorous training with her coach and swimming partner, Brenton Williams.

“I train six times a week and love the open water‚” Abriella‚ who will be 11 years and three months old during the crossing, said.
“I have also started to surf in cold water‚ so think I will be able to swim to Robben Island this December.

“The water here does get very cold in winter. It gets to about 11°C‚ so it gets as cold as the sea around Cape Town in winter which is helping me to prepare.”

Abriella completed her first open water swim at the age of seven. She has since done the 3km Oceana swim‚ the Peer to Pubs and completed numerous 5km swims as part of the Jeffreys Bay ColdWater Classic.

But it is not only her love for the open water that motivates her to complete the iconic swim.

She is hoping to raise R2-million for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital through crowdfunding donations.

By yesterday afternoon, she had raised nearly R46 000.


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