Oldest competitor says ‘Bring it on!’ to Oceans 8 Charity Swim

Oldest competitor says ‘Bring it on!’ to Oceans 8 Charity Swim
Oldest competitor says ‘Bring it on!’ to Oceans 8 Charity Swim

The Durban beaches are open and keen swimmers are getting ready for the epic Oceans 8 Charity Swim in support of local charities! Taking place on Friday, 16 and Saturday, 17 June 2023 at the Durban Undersea Club, Oceans 8 Charity Swim consists of a 1 Mile and 8 Mile ocean swim with swimmers of all ages excited to take to the water.


“We are excited to announce that everything is on track for what looks to be a fantastic Oceans 8 Charity Swim, and with so many NPOs in need of assistance, we’re encouraging as many people to enter this year as possible!” said Oceans 8 Charity Swim event spokesperson, Hilary Bruss. “We already have 95 x 8 Mile swimmers and 58 x 1 Mile swimmers registered, raising an amazing R666 224 for charity so far, with our youngest competitor coming in at 11 years and our oldest at 76 years. This really is a race for everyone to do something worthwhile for our deserving NPOs.”


Dundee-born Trevor Lauf might be coming in as the oldest competitor to be swimming 8 miles, but he’s coming in with a wealth of competitive experience, having competed in several marathons, including the Comrades, as well as several triathlons, winning his age group in the SA Champs.


Having spent 18 years in the retail industry before moving to the medical industry in Gauteng, Lauf has been happily retired in Prestondale, uMhlanga for the past six years, taking advantage of the outdoor KZN lifestyle on offer.


“Swimming is now my first love, and I swim with the DUC [Durban Undersea Club] with a great group of people about three or four times a week,” explained the avid swimmer and surfski paddler. “We often swim about 10km in the ocean, so I’m ready for the Oceans 8 Charity Swim. Bring it on!”


Also competing on the day is Transkei-born Athini Mbena, who says he’s excited to be swimming with ‘world-class swimmers from the Durban Undersea Club’: “I’m from Lusikisiki and grew up swimming in dams and rivers. We used to go, once a year, to the beach at the Wild Coast. I learned freestyle swimming two years ago at the age of 30 and absolutely love swimming! it’s a great honour for me to be part of this event, I’m really excited for the charities we’re raising funds for so they can continue to do their good work.”


Oceans 8 Charity Swim was started by five charities – Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT), the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Project Rhino, Singakwenza, and WILDTRUST – to provide a reliable and sustainable flow of funding to 14 deserving non-profit organisations in and around KwaZulu-Natal. All funds generated through the 8 Mile swim will support the work of these five main charities.


In addition to this, funds generated by the 1 Mile swim will assist a further 9 invitational charities, namely:


1.        Adopt-a-River (www.adoptariversa.org)

2.        Caversham Education Institute (www.cavershaminstitute.co.za)

3.        CROW – The Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (www.crowkzn.co.za)

4.        Game Rangers’ Association of Africa (www.gameranger.org)

5.        International Sailors’ Society of Southern Africa (www.saiss.co.za)

6.        Kerr House (www.kerrhouse.co.za)

7.        Liberty NPO (www.libertynpo.co.za)

8.        One Planet S.A. (www.oneplanet.org.za)

9.        Wildlife ACT (www.wildlifeact.com)


Entries are still open for anyone wanting to enter the 1 Mile swim in this first-of-its-kind, warm water ocean challenge exclusively for charity. Entry for the 1 Mile is R150, with participants required to either raise R850 for charity or make the full donation themselves. Every cent of this fundraising goes to the nine invitational charities!


Swimmers only need to enter their age-category event if they are competing for their age-group medal. Non-competitive swimmers are welcome to choose any of the 8 events over the 2 days to participate in. In an effort to minimise plastic use, Quench fresh spring water will be available on tap and Discovery are donating a reusable water bottle to every competitor.


Supporters are also encouraged to come out and cheer on these determined competitors as they brave the (almost) chilly Durban waters for a good cause. Renowned local MC Danny Guselli will keep everyone updated with commentary at the event, and the little ones will enjoy meeting The Sharks mascot, Sharkie, as well as uShaka Marine World’s ocean warriors; Phila the Penguin, Siva the Seal, Raggy the Shark and Delia the Dolphin.


Oceans 8 Charity Swim Event Details


Friday, 16 June

Event 1: 7am – Start of 8 Mile and race for 71 and over, and disabled

Event 2: 8.15am – Race for 61 to 70 years                

Event 3: 9.30am – Race for 51 to 60 years

Event 4: 10.45am – Race for 41 to 50 years


Saturday, 17 June

Event 5: 7am – Race for 31 to 40 years

Event 6: 8.15am – Race for 21 to 30 years

Event 7: 9.30am – Race for 15 to 20 years and inter-school boys

Event 8: 10.45am – Race for U14 and inter-school girls

Registration for both days: 5am to 6am

Race briefing on both days: 6.30am


Event organisers thanked main sponsors Discovery, Mr Price Sport and Pick ‘n Pay. Thanks are also extended to SAPPI, ShipTech, Adviceworx GFP Financial Planning, Aheers Multisave, Overstone Cottages, Afcon Industrial Equipment, Electrical Projects, and LED Urban for making the event possible.


To enter the Oceans 8 Charity Swim, visit www.oceans8swim.co.za.


To donate towards the Oceans 8 Charity Swim cause, visit www.backabuddy.co.za/ocean-8-fundraiser.


Keep updated on all the action by following @oceans8_charityswim on Instagram and oceans8swim on Facebook.