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Oceans for Rivers

In early March, Georgina Smith and Kirsty Thompson will attempt to complete the False Bay crossing in an effort to raise funds for Swim for Rivers, a local NGO that was founded to highlight SA’s water crisis. Read more about how you can get involved and be a part of the challenge.
5 min read

At INN8, we believe in emanating our brand essence beyond the confines of our job title. Georgina Smith, as the leader of the distribution and sales teams, embodies our values of being inspired, authentic and courageous. Her extreme manner of tackling amazing tasks is admired by those around her. 

George’s latest feat is to attempt to swim across False Bay in an effort to increase awareness and raise funds for Swim for Rivers, a local NGO that was founded to highlight SA’s water crisis, seek solutions and help protect the environment.

Oceans for Rivers

You see, Georgina wasn’t always a swimmer – she only took it up in 2017 when she joined a local long distance swim group to meet some friends after immigrating to the Cape Peninsula from the United Kingdom. She has since swam around Cape Point and swam across False Bay as part of a four-person relay team in 2021.

This year, instead of four swimmers, Georgina will be crossing the Bay with only one other: Kirsty Thompson, an avid adventure sports enthusiast who has completed nine Ironman Triathlons. The two established a great partnership and are collaborating – another of our values – to raise awareness and funds for Swim for Rivers. Why? Watch below to hear why they chose to raise funds for Swim for Rivers, direct from the poolside:

Swim for Rivers explained

After successfully delivering 60 Hippo Rollers to KwaPhahla in the former Transkei, Swim for Rivers will endeavour to fund its first borehole in this village which will allow the community to access clean water and ensure that sharing streams with the surrounding animal life will be a thing of the past. 100% of the funds raised are used for the cause, and no salaries are paid to any of the volunteers.

This short video explains exactly what Swim for Rivers is all about:

Water is the source of life, and as a business, we stand by the Swim for Rivers initiative to get access to fresh water to those who need it. We believe in giving back to the community and are excited to be behind such a great cause.

A look at the crossing

Deemed “the Everest of swims”, the False Bay Crossing has been swum from Rooi Els to Miller’s Point and from Miller’s Point to Rooi Els, the latter producing faster times in recent years.

Georgina and Kirsty will begin at Miller’s and will tag-relay their way across the bay. With the 35km route split in half, each swimmer needs to complete 17km, breaking the journey into four stints for each swimmer of an hour to 90 minutes per swim.

During the swim – see route below – Georgina and Kirsty will attempt to break a few long distance swimming records.

What are we breaking?

Although Georgina and Kirsty are happy with just getting to the other side, there are a few records up for grabs:

  • Record one: to become the first two-woman relay team to cross False Bay in skins (no wetsuits)
  • Record two: to beat George’s last crossing time (completed as a four-woman relay in 2021 in 8 hours 46)
  • Record three: to be the fastest female relay team (completed in 2022 by a four-woman team in 7 hours 38)
But the swim won’t be easy. According to the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association:


“The difficulty of the swim can be attributed to strong and unpredictable currents and winds, icy and often inconsistent water temperatures, and the fact that False Bay has one of the highest populations of Great White sharks in the world. To date only 6 swimmers have completed the solo False Bay crossing.”

Competing against nature

You see, in order to accomplish any of the above, there are a few obstacles that they need to overcome, which include:

  1. Before the crack of dawn: you get in the water to start swimming in the dark
  2. Ice, ice, baby: it’s going to be cold. Think 14 °C – and Kirsty hates the cold
  3. Wildlife: sharks, whales, jellyfish, sunfish, seals, you name it, it’s probably there
  4. Skins only: no wetsuits here, only swimming costumes, caps and goggles
  5. Tag, your it: there are four relays each lasting an hour to 90 minutes per session
  6. The afterdrop: the phenomenon of the “continued fall of deep body temperatures during rewarming after hypothermia”. Basically this means you’ll be shivering uncontrollably for 20 minutes, after which, you still need to refuel before you get back in and do it all again. Fun
 
Don’t forget the training

With all of that in mind, the two have been training hard and updating their Strava.

Hey! Why not show your support and match George and Kirsty’s swim training. Join our club on Strava and get your times logged!
They have also been sharing videos from their training sessions and we’ve compiled them all in one place, and will be adding videos as we go:

For those of you who have met INN8’s Head of Distribution and Sales, you would have quickly picked up on her contagious energy, can-do attitude and purposeful and deliberate actions. Always up for a challenge, a few years ago Georgina dedicated herself to doing something adventurous every year, and she has not disappointed the INN8 team with her grit, determination, and accomplishments.

George has since cycled the Trans Baviaans and even swum around Cape Point. For insights into the previous False Bay crossing, join Georgina for breakfast and get a taste of how it went:

Be a part of the swim

Get training

George and Kirsty are logging their training times on Strava. Join the club and connect with us on Strava and show your support. 

 

 

 

Get donating
The Swim for Rivers Backabuddy page is all you need. Follow the link to give a donation and remember to mention your support for George and Kirsty!
Get following

It’s all being recorded! George and Kirsty are sharing regular video updates on Instagram and YouTube. For live updates, follow Instagram.

 

Be a part of the swim

Get training

George and Kirsty are logging their training times on Strava. Join the club and connect with us on Strava and show your support. 


Get donating
The Swim for Rivers Backabuddy page is all you need. Follow the link to give a donation and remember to mention your support for George and Kirsty!
Get following

It’s all being recorded! George and Kirsty are sharing regular video updates on Instagram and YouTube. For live updates, follow Instagram.

 

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