Ultra Extreme Open Water and Ice Swimmer, Ryan Stramrood, has been nominated for a prestigious international award. Stramrood is in the running for Man of the Year of the World Open Water Swimming Association. This after he completed a record 109 crossings from Robben Island to Blouberg Beach.
Stramrood does not back down from a challenge. The Robben Island crossing is an iconic swim of between 7.4 and 11 kilometres in icy cold water.
“It throws everything at you all the cold water, the currents, the distance, all the things that mess with your mind down there that you see so that’s why I do it so often,” he says.
Open water swimming requires a lot of training. The hard national lockdown that was announced in March prevented Stramrood from getting into the water for 10 weeks. Finally – when restrictions were eased – he swam the record-breaking 109th crossing in June last year. He was recognised by the World Open Water Swimming Association for his efforts.
“You want to keep yourself fit and there was an extended period where I couldn’t do that and yet I stuck to my goal and I managed to get the record for the Robben Island crossings and a few other swims as well, I think it piqued the interest.”
Stramrood not one to shy away from challenge:
Stramrood has a long list of near-impossible swims to his name. This includes the World First Official Ice Mile in Antarctica in minus one-degree water – crossing the English Channel and twice swimming the Straits of Gibraltar from Europe to Africa. Since breaking the Robben Island crossing record – he has swum it a further five times. He says Cape Town is fast becoming a popular destination for extreme swimming.
“We’ve got some really really good swims here, some scary swims, some icy waters, it’s an incredible physical and mental challenge and this helps put Cape Town on the map, it showcases us around the world and obviously it’s lovely for me to be spearheading that.”
The Man of the Year Award winner is chosen through a public online voting system. It Is hoped South Africa can take the coveted award. The public can vote for the extreme sportsman at Ryan-underscore-Stramrood on Instagram. Voting closes on Friday, the 29th of January.