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Carina Bruwer Breaks Record Swimming from Europe to Africa

Fastest Female to Swim Across the Gibraltar Straits

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On 17 June, 2005, Carina Bruwer became the fastest female to swim across the Gibraltar Straits, from Tarifa Point in Spain to Morocco in Africa. She finished the 16km swim in 3h35, taking just two minutes off the previous record set by Indian swimmer MS Bula Chow.

"I am absolutely elated", says Bruwer. "I wanted to break the record, but lost hope when I had 4,3km left to swim in less than an hour."

Carina was accompanied by two boats with a support crew from the Gibraltar Straits Swimming Association. "My support crew was fantastic though and kept telling me to go for it, as I might be helped by the tide towards Morocco. They kept stirring me on, although a lot is lost in translation!"

Carina initially planned to visit Spain just for a holiday and to make music contacts, but thanks to a generous sponsorship from Terblanche – Pistorius (a law firm in Middelburg, Gauteng), Carina was able to do this crossing, which she has been hoping to attempt since last year. "I am very grateful to Terblanche-Pistorius; any international swim is extremely expensive, and they covered the Association and pilot fees, which enabled me to do the crossing during this trip."

Carina is now the 8th South African to successfully cross the Straits of Gibraltar. During September last year, a group of 6 South African swimmers crossed the Straits, and a female South African swimmer also did the crossing in the 1950"s. Carina now also holds the fastest time for a South African

Carina will soon head back to Barcelona to try to organise some future performances for herself end her quartet (ACE Quartet), and will return to South Africa on 27 June. Her next swimming goal is crossing the English Channel in August this year, sponsorship permitting.

Carina lives in Mouille Point, Cape Town. She is 25 years old, a professional concert flautist and manager of her own music agency. She holds the record for the fastest swim around Robben Island, and she is also the only swimmer to have rounded the southern-most as well as the northern-most points of Africa (at Cape Agulhas and Bizerte in Tunisia respectively); last year she became the first South African to round Cape Point, and also holds the record for this swim. She is also the only swimmer to have rounded Danger Point near Gansbaai (the "White Shark Capital of the World"). Carina is training for an attempt to cross the English Channel in August this year.

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