Open Water: Canal Challenge – 13th October 2018

Big guns to swim at first Canal Challenge.
Rotary Club and the V&A Waterfront join hands for an event that will highlight war on plastics

Theodore Yach and Michelle Weber are the ambassadors for Waterfront Rotary Club and the Canal Challenge in October.


THE WATERFRONT Rotary Club will be turning the canal at V& A Waterfront into a swimmer’s paradise on October 13 when it hosts its inaugural Canal Challenge.

The event is set to provide the opportunity for open water swimmers to show their class and also to kick-off the club’s war on plastics.

The club has been in existence since 1992 and has 37 members which form part of a larger international rotary family made up of 1.2 million members globally.

The theme for the first maiden Canal Challenge is “one wave at a time”.

The newly developed Battery Park at the Waterfront is where all the action and fun will take place.

The Battery Park was the place where cannons were produced and organisers now say with the improvements and its past history, it has now become a place of hope.

If you are not a swimming enthusiast, the club is encouraging corporates to build anything that can float which will form part of the post-swim afternoon fun and which promises to entertain young and old.

Schools are also encouraged to join in on the day and to build models using plastics in an efforts to reduce the amount of plastics in the environment.

The event will place strong importance on education and awareness about the state of our oceans.

One of the partners is the Two Oceans Aquarium, which will host the “Art from Ocean Trash” competition for schools.

For the Canal Challenge, the club has brought out two big guns of the open water swimming world, Theodore Yach and Michelle Weber.

Yach, a Capetonian, is the first open water swimmer in history to complete 100 Robben Island crossings from the island to the mainland.

Durban-born Weber was a member of the South African 2016 Olympic team and is the reigning African and South African champion in the 5km open water event.

“This event will offer a multitude of benefits, not only to Capetonians but also to people outside the city,” said Yach.

“It has all the ingredients for a fantastic event. I think we are going to have to limit participation instead of having to find participants,” he added.

“This is a great opportunity for open water swimming,” said Weber.

Weber said she added her weight behind the event because of the war on plastics as this is “something open water swimming has not seen before”.

For those interested in swimming in the event, the water temperature on the day is expected to be between 11 and 15ºC.


Donald Kau, spokesperson for the V&A Waterfront: “We’re excited to be the host venue for the Canal Challenge and to partner with the Waterfront Rotary Club in raising awareness of the increasing impact of pollution on our oceans.

“As custodians of one of the most recognised waterfronts in the world, the V&A Waterfront, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to protect our natural resources, and this is another initiative through which Capetonians cannot only come and enjoy themselves at the V&A Waterfront but to also become active in the care and protection of our marine environment.”