- Ryan Stramrood
- 8:39:50 hour(s):minute(s)
- South Africa (Rooi Els)
The fastest man (and person overall) to swim across False Bay in South Africa is Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), who completed a one-way crossing in 8 hours 39 minutes 50 seconds on 18 March 2021. He swam west to east from Miller’s Point (near Simon's Town) to Rooi Els. This record was ratified by the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association and the False Bay Swimming Association.
Stramrood is only the sixth person to have swam solo across False Bay, and the first person to have swam it west to east. He bettered the previous record by more than half an hour: Barend Nortje (South Africa) completed a crossing in 9 hr 17 min on 5 March 2007.
False Bay is the largest bay at the southern tip of Africa, situated between False Cape Point (aka Hangklip) and Cape Point. The distance is approximately 34 km (21.1 mi) as the crow flies, but as with any long-distance ocean swim, the final route is greatly affected by currents, wind, swell and waves on the day. Water temperature in the bay varies from 20°C (68°F) in the summer to 10°C (50°F) in the winter. The bay is home to a variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, whales and most infamously great white sharks, although the latter tend to be found nearer the shore, meaning swimmers and their support teams need to be extra-vigilant at the start and end of the crossing.
The fastest woman (and the first person on record) to successfully swim across False Bay is Annemie Landmeters (Belgium), with a time of 9 hours 56 minutes, on 30 January 1989.