Derrick provides boat support for over 200 Robben Island Channel crossings per annum, with an even split between “speedo” and wetsuit swims. As a registered observer, with CLDSA, and having significant experience in dealing with cold water induced hypothermia, Derrick is an obvious choice when selecting your pilot.
We have supported well over 1500 long distance swims and offer experience, expertise and individual support to every swimmer to ensure you minimise risk and maximise enjoyment on your swim.
We have provided support to many 1st time swimmers, international swimmers, competitive swimmers, and well-known regular swimmers.
We operate 5 support boats allowing us to select the most suitable boat based on launch and recovery sites, swim routes and size of support crew.
As of June 2021, only 7 solo and 3 relay teams have successfully swam the challenging 33km across False Bay, located at the southern tip of Africa.
Derrick has been involved in the planning, scheduling, and piloting of 5 of these crossings, and coupled with 100% success in all False Bay attempts, makes him the undisputed leader in supporting this swim.
The first 6 successful crossings were all started on the eastern shores of the bay using the prevailing SE winds to generate “assist” current. After intensive study of the currents, swell direction and wind direction, Derrick recommended swimming in the opposite direction. This was received with mixed reactions from the scheduled swimmers. Katherine Persson, Eva Dirkson, Georgia Smith, and Karen Graaf trusted our judgement and swam a stunning time of 8:46:12 on the 12 March 2021. Confidence in swim direction was created and the following 2 crossings also broke records setting a new standard in route direction.
Big Bay Events is the obvious choice for international, national, or local swimmers wishing to cross False Bay.
Cape Sanctioned Routes
The value of travelling to Cape Town, South Africa, to swim our 2 well known and iconic swims, False Bay and Robben Island, is the large number of vastly different swims presented by the Western Cape.
All these routes are sanctioned by the CLDSA and by registering your swim you become part of the rich history of open water swimming in the Western Cape.
Big Bay Events pilots are experienced in all CLDSA routes having successfully supported many swimmers on all routes and having been instrumental in founding many of the newer routes.