What a Week for Jon Vickers from Robben Island

What a Week for Jon Vickers from Robben Island

Jon Vickers of South Africa recently completed his 7-7 Challenge RI, a 7-day solo marathon swimming challenge when he swam 7 Robben Island crossings in 7 days.

Between April 25th and May 2nd, he completed seven 7.4 km crossings from Robben Island, ratified by the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association. The water temperature ranged from 9.8°C to 12.9°C over the 7 days.

  • April 25th: he made a 3 hour 5 minute 14 second one-way crossing from Robben Island to Big Bay.
  • April 27th: he made a 6 hour 8 minute 23 second two-way crossing.
  • April 28th: he made a 3 hour 40 minute 42 second one-way crossing.
  • April 29th: he made a 3 hour 27 minute 15 second one-way crossing.
  • May 1st: he made a 3 hour 26 minute 15 second one-way crossing.
  • May 2nd: he made a 3 hour 11 minute 16 second one-way crossing.

Vickers explained his motivation for the unprecedented challenge, “I was a former Royal Marine Commando that served for over 6 and half year. Like many of us before me and still today, we get lost and depressed in the civilian word after leaving such a great regiment. So I decided I needed something for myself to challenge me and that’s when I started open water swimming.

I trained hard for my first Robben Island crossing. Once I had finished the cold 7.4 km swim to Big Bay, the bug bit me. I knew this was my new lease on life and a start of a new challenge. I ended up swimming more Robben Island swims and decided to sign up for the amazing English Channel swim. Part of my training, I decided to do a challenge for myself, seven Robben Island crossings in 7 days to raise funds for Achmat Hassiem, a local South African hero who lost his leg to a great white shark 15 years ago, but after a recent back operation, he is now bed bound for life. I did the challenge in an average of 10.5°C water and raised over 4000 pounds in 3 weeks for his family to look after him.”

For more information and to help Vickers continue to achieve his goal, visit here.

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Steven Munatones