A few weeks ago, I had Siham Boda from the Waterfront Rotary Club in the studio telling us about an amazing new event happening at the Waterfront called the Waterfront Canal Challenge, which consists of a half and full mile swim.
Well that day was yesterday, so the sproglet and I armed with playlist on a memory stick, microphone, suntan lotion and camera went down to MC the event and just what an event it was.
Firstly, it is in a brand-new section of the Waterfront called Battery Park. As you come off the highway and turn right into the Waterfront it is right there. Turn left immediately as if you are going to the City Lodge and just up in front of you is a new three level parking garage which leads directly onto a beautiful canal.
It really is so first world, so beautiful that very few places in the world can compare. The water is 1.7 meters deep and you can see the bottom. I saw a clean-up boat several times in the morning just keeping an eye on things and scooping up the odd piece of garbage.
The is a SUP store right there and people were there in their droves coming to paddle or kayak, children swimming in the canal and we even had a yoga display on a sup board. Just how cool is that.
There are loads of cools stores and facing you are some of the most prestigious car companies including names like Ferrari. Of course, I felt at home.
But as they say in the adverts that is not all. Apparently in another three weeks they are opening the entire upper deck which is full of restaurants, grass patches and just the nicest chill spot in Cape Town.
The race itself was outstanding. The distance was split into two, so you could swim either a half mile or a full mile. The full mile started right there in the Amsterdam Battery and goes back to the One and Only Hotel and back a distance of 1.6 kilometres.
The half milers were ferried by the City Sightseeing boats to the One and Only and they had to swim back.
Two versions of each race being with or without wetsuits and surprisingly it was fairly even in number considering the water was 14 degrees Celsius.
We finished off the day with an elite field of serious and I mean serious swimmers. Olympic, Common Wealth Games, legends of the sport both in the pool and long distance and they creamed the course mostly getting back in about 18 minutes.
There were food trucks and stalls selling lovely things and interviews with interesting people and art competitions and the Two Oceans Aquarium was there and the Penguin Waddle came through the area at 10.30am.
Am I going on a bit, well yes. It was so much fun and so well done that I think that the Waterfront Rotary Club and all their little worker bees can take a big bow for an outstanding world class event in a world class venue.
I think I’ll leave the last words for swimming legend Theodore Yach who acted as brand ambassador for the day who said that this event had all the potential to become one of the biggest events on the swimming calendar.
I must say I agree. We have the Two Oceans Marathon, we have the Cycle Tour. Now let us add the Waterfront Canal Challenge I Miler to that prestigious list.
André The Big Positive Guy – Sundays 6am – 10am on Smile 90.4FM