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Calls for Robben Island swim to be named after Theodore Yach

Published Oct 18, 2018

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Cape Town - Following the tragic passing of famous open water swimmer, Theodore Yach, on Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape supports the call by M&C Saatchi Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mike Abel, to rename the Robben Island to Cape Town swim, the ‘Theodore Yach Challenge’.

Mr. Yach was South Africa’s most accomplished ultra-cold and open water swimmer. In 2016, Mr. Yach completed his 100th swim between Robben Island and Cape Town after dedicating more than 30 years of his life to his passion of swimming. He was the first person to complete the swim.

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The late Mr. Yach’s talent and career saw him sweep countless medals and accolades, including the Mayor’s medal for Civic Contribution back in 2010. In 2012, Mr. Yach authored his debut book, In My Element, after successfully swimming across the English Channel and completing the Robben Island to Cape Town crossing a record 64 times.

Veteran long-distance swimmer Theodore Yach completing his 100th Robben Island swim. Picture: Jason Boud

"In light of Mr Yach’s incredibly illustrious career, I will write to the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille and the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, to consider the possibility of renaming the Robben Island to Cape Town swim after Theodore Yach," DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Cultural Affairs and Sports, Ricardo Mackenzie.

"Mr. Yach will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to swimming and dedicating his life to encouraging and teaching others to swim. His achievements will continue to inspire many to take up daunting challenges whilst inculcating a culture of winning. May his soul rest in peace."

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