A Cape Town businessman, aiming to be the first South African to conquer seven of the world’s most brutal ocean swims, will lead about 30 swimmers in a 24-hour endurance swim on April 12 to raise funds to teach water skills to disadvantaged children.
In addition to raising funds, property expert, extreme athlete and motivational speaker, Toni Enderli, 39, says the endurance swim is part of his training to complete “Oceans Seven”, the marathon swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge.
Enderli and a handful of extreme athletes will participate for a full 24 hours, covering close to 50km each at the Sea Point Pavilion pool on April 12 and 13. The other athletes will swim for 12 hours or less. Entry fees and pledges will go directly to the NSRI’s water safety programme for children. Every year, around 600 children drown in SA.
Enderli has completed two of the Oceans Seven challenges — the 34km English Channel and the 12.5km Strait of Gibraltar — wearing only a Speedo costume, cap and goggles. Only six athletes have completed Oceans Seven which demands extra-ordinary physical and mental skills, says the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.
In addition to the NSRI water safety programme, Enderli is raising money via pledges to his website, www.toni.co.za, for global charities, Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for the poor and Generosity.org, which supplies clean water to poor communities.
Enderli’s wife and two children will travel with him to his third swim in the series — the 32km Catalina Channel between Catalina Island and Long Beach, California — set for mid-July, 2017. The swim, renowned for strong currents, huge swells and sharks, starts at midnight.
Then, in August, Enderli faces the ultra-distance, 41km Molokai Strait, Hawaii, characterised by sharks and jellyfish, unusually large swells, choppy water and unpredictably strong winds.