Carina Bruwer

A graduate of Bloemhof Meiseiskool and the University of Stellenbosch, Carina Bruwer is a South African musician - and long distance swimmer. In 2004 she became the first South African to swim around Cape Point - click here to see a video of that swim.

I was just swimming up and down the 33.3m University pool, repeatedly, every day.  It was never enough, I had to go further every time.  Regulars at the pool and the adjacent gym started calling me ‘The Machine’, not that I ever really had much time to speak to them – this would have cut into my swimming time!  I started reading up about long distance swimming and discovered an open water swimming (open water swimming – what’s that??) race from Simonstown to Muizenberg in January 2003 – 12km. I thought the distance sounded impossible – it had to be a typo – so I called the organisers who confirmed that the distance is correct (although it could be further if you took a bad line), that they’ve never heard of such thing as a wetsuit, and that there are more sharks on the road than in False Bay so there should be no concern.  So I obviously had no choice, I had to do it.  I did, and it changed my life…”

M O S T   N O T A B L E   S W I M S

  • Across False Bay, South Africa – FIRST SA WOMAN; THIRD SWIMMER EVER | Date: 26 February 2006 | Distance: 36km; Time: 10h58
  • English Channel Crossing, England to France – FASTEST SA WOMAN | Date: 1 August 2005 | Distance: 36km; Time: 12h03
  • Messina Straits Quadruple Crossing, Italy to Sicily and back twice – FURTHEST SWIM BY A WOMAN IN THE MESSINA STRAITS | Date: 21 June 2014 | Distance: 15km; Time: 03h59
  • Straits of Gibraltar crossing – Held FEMALE WORLD RECORD for 7 years | Date: 15 June 2005 | Distance: 16km; Time: 3h35
  • Straits of Bonifacio crossing, Corsica (France) to Sardinia (Italy) | Date: 17 June 2014 | Distance: 15km; Time: 04h28
  • Female winner and 3rd place overall in the 2006 Key West Marathon, USA | Date: June 2006 | Distance: 20km; Time: 4h39
  • Female winner and 4th place overall in the 2005 International Swimming Crossing of the Toroneos Gulf, Greece | Date: 23 July 2005 | Distance: 26km; Time: 7h58
  • Robben Island to Bloubergstrand 7,5km and Three Anchor Bay (11km) | 9 crossings to date; Best time: 1h58 ( 2007 and 2014 )
  • Around Robben Island Swim – held OVERALL RECORD for 8 years | Date: 27 April 2005 | Distance: 11km; Time: 3h07
  • First person to round the Northern-most point of Africa – Bizerte, Tunisia | Date: 15 Octobert 2004 | Distance: 16km; Time: 3h50
  • First person to round DANGER POINT – Gansbaai | Date: 11 August 2004 | Distance: 11km; Time: 3h16
  • First female and first South African to swim around Cape Agulhas | Date: 27 April 2004 | Distance: 11km; Time: 2h16 Broke the record of Englishman Lewis Pugh set in 1994 by 2 hours
  • First South African to swim around Cape Point – FASTEST TIME (broken since). Still holds Female record | Date: 27 March 2004 | Distance: 8,5km; Time: 2h20
  • 25km South African Open Water Swimming Championships held at Midmar, February 2005 | second female, fouth place overall
  • 10km South African Open Water Swimming Championships held at Midmar, February 2004 | first place overall
  • 10km Western Province Open Water Swimming Championships, Mykonos, December 2003 | First female, third overall
  • False Bay 12km Iron Man Swimming Challenge (Simonstown to Muizenberg) | First female 2003; second female 2004

A W A R D S:

2006: Lewis Pugh Trophy for the most outstanding swim of the year – based on speed and quality – for crossing False Bay (36km) in 10 hours, 58 minutes

2004: Supersport Champions Award


27 March 2004

This morning long distance swimmer and professional flautist Carina Bruwer became the first South African to successfully sound the Cape of Good Hope. Before the swim Carina, who is SA's 10km Open Water Swimming Champion, said: “This will be my most challenging swim to date.  The currents around Cape Point are notorious and the waves can be extreme.  Sharks should not be an issue because the boat will be equipped with an electronic shark repellant device.”   CLDSA President, Mr. Peter Bales said: “Carina is a very strong swimmer.  If the currents don’t play up, I think she has a good chance of making it.”  

Carina has also successfully swum to Robben Island three times.Bruwer set off at a turbulent Diaz Beach appr.10:00, and finished the swim in 2h20. Hereby she also broke the record of world renowned American open water swimmer Lynne Cox, set in the eighties.   Carina said: “I am ecstatic!  I have been on standby to do the swim since Tuesday, but bad weather and gale force winds prevented an attempt. Today’s conditions were wonderful, although the water was extremely cold at the start (about 13 degrees).  I now know why they call it the Cape of Storms: The sea was very rough up to a few hundred meters around the point, where it clamed down considerably, and the temperature increased.  I feel honored to have had an amazing (and star studded!) support crew:  The legendary Peter Bales, president of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association and the first South African man to have swum across the English Channel; Tony Sellmeyer, well known Cape long Distance Swimmer and president of Open Water Swimming South Africa; and Lewis Pugh, holder of numerous long distance swimming records.  Lewis is also the one who inspired me attempt the swim. 

I hope to swim around Cape Aghulas soon, and am still looking for sponsorship swim across the Straights of Gibraltar later this year.”

Carina, a multiple award-winning Classical-contemporary flautist, leads Sterling EQ – the all-woman three-piece known for changing the face of instrumental music in South Africa and beyond.

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