South African Olympian Troy Prinsloo has set a new standard for the 7.5 KM Robben Island swim of 1 hour 23 minutes and 43 seconds. The previous record for the crossing was held by German Christof Wandratsch (1:33:11) who did the swim in 2005. Prinsloo is one of South Africa’s top distance freestylers and was recently second to his countryman Chad Ho at the MidMar Mile (the world’s largest open water swim). Robben Island can be a very challenging crossing for even the most experienced open water swimmer given its strong variable currents and cold temperatures. The reported temperature of Prinsloo’s crossing was 15 degrees celsius (59 degrees fahrenheit . Prinsloo complete the record swim without a wetsuit.
Prinsloo was a member of the 2012 South African Olympic team and finished 12th in the 10K event in London. He was an All American swimmer at the University of Georgia specializing in distance freestyle. Prinsloo was also on the 2008 RSA Beijing squad were he finished 22 in the 1500.
Robben Island is a small island off the coast from Cape Town and is infamous as the site where former South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned prior the the fall of the apartheid.
The annual Freedom Swim that covers the same course is scheduled for April 27th.