The Big Bay Team

Big Bay Events owes a huge part of our success to the team of lifeguards who have worked for us over the years.

Work hard, play hard and have fun have been the core elements in building a team of dedicated lifeguards who understand the responsibility of holding our swimmer’s lives in our hands every time we enter the ocean and inland waters.

Hats off to the many hours spent on the water taking care of our swimmers.

We will introduce individual lifeguards but for the moment these are some of our team and action photos over the years.

Derrick & Debbie Frazer

Many years ago, we received a life-changing phone call from Tony Sellmeyer asking us to support a few swimmers in Langebaan Lagoon as they prepared for their Rottnest Channel Swim. Our interest and passion for supporting openwater swimmers was born and we have never looked back.

Humble beginnings saw us supporting a few Robben Island crossings annually in our small rescue rubber duck, as a break from the mundane activities of our primary business. However, the standard of our support and covering the logistic nightmare for the swimmer, soon saw the popularity of Robben Island crossings grow into a regular activity for us. Furthermore, sharing the wonder of these crossings on social media saw an exponential growth in the number of swimmers adding Robben Island to their bucket lists.

We have grown our support capacities in line with the demand for openwater swim support throughout the greater Cape Town area and now support more than 450 recognised swims per annum.

In 2013/4 Zani Muller (Taitz) swam many Robben Islands in preparation for her English Channel attempt, and I jumped at the opportunity to support her from England to France. This led to our love of preparing, planning, and supporting Channel crossings for swimmers, with a growing number of bookings each year. (Covid creating small hiccups at the moment) We have currently supported 19 English Channel crossings with a well above average success rate.

Derrick and Debbie have successfully swum Robben Island and multiple Langebaan crossings and Debbie is currently training to match Derrick’s Cape Point swim. We have been training for 2 years for our Channel Relay attempt, with Covid travel restrictions having the final say.

You will be hard pressed to find someone with the passion, experience, management ability and capacity to support your dreams.

Michelle Weber

We are super stoked that Michelle has successfully qualified for her second Olympic Games as an openwater swimmer, competing in the grueling 10km event. Michelle has managed to overcome all the challenges and curve balls, thrown by the Covid pandemic, by staying focused on her goal.

Her long list of achievements is truly remarkable but for us the standout feature of her success is an extraordinary ability to write her own training programs and the self-discipline to follow them without a coaching support structure common to her fellow competitors.    

We are looking forward to supporting Michelle in her openwater training swims and watching her represent South Africa in Toyoko in August 2021.

We are also super excited to be supporting Michelle, as she pushes her boundaries and gives the English Channel a crack in 2022. Michelle will once again be writing her own training program for this iconic swim.

Watch for swim clinics, training camps and personalized training programs as Michelle and Big Bay Events work together to offer a professional openwater training facility to assist all levels of swimmers turning their dreams into goals and successes.   

Read up on Michelle’s achievements and check out her current offerings on

Know your fellow swimmers

Lindsey De Kock

  1. What are you training for?

For the remainder of this year a double Mykonos and False Bay relay. After that who knows…. Derrick will keep me guessing and assessing what is possible for me.

  1. How long have you been swimming?

I “sort” of swam at school but was self-taught. I took up lifesaving once my children were growing up, swimming some open water events in Gauteng/ Freestate and lots of Midmars.

Started serious open water swimming in Cape Town in 2012.

  1. What is your favorite quote?

I often chirp… just keep swimming… swimming… swimming.

While swimming I sing lots of our Christian songs to myself.

  1. How do you stay motivated to train?

As a music student I was always used to long, hard hours of work and this stood me in good stead for long, lonely hours in the pool.

  1. What is your favorite song to listen to prior to a swim?

Interestingly I don’t really use music leading up to a swim… I pray a lot and just try to anticipate the joy of the event.

  1. How do you prep for an event the day before?

I like to be totally organized so get all feeds and change of clothes (including my car shower) packed and ready.  Having said that, I can get ready for a swim in a matter of minutes. 🙈

  1. What or who inspired you to start doing openwater swimming?

When we were doing lifesaving many years ago, we were encouraged to do our FPA, and SPA and I was hooked! In Welkom we had a Scouter who introduced us to life on, and in, the water. The combination filled me with enthusiasm, and I realized it was what I really wanted.

  1. What is your favorite food to eat the night before a swim?

I don’t really have a favorite because life happens and I’m flexible, but an amazing stew or roast is my favorite giving long, slow released energy to a very slow and nervous swimmer.

  1. Which event from big bay events is your favorite?

Any event that involves swimming. Although I’ve only does a few I really really love the sleep over events.  Swimming to RI, sleeping over and swimming back was incredibly special.

  1. Where is your favorite place to train for your upcoming events?

It used to be my school outdoor swimming pool, but now…if I could swim in Gordon’s Bay or Langebaan (despite attracting totally irritating jelly fish nits on every swim) every day, I’d feel as if I was on Cloud 9.

Michelle Petring

  1. What big swim are you training for?

I am training for an English Channel crossing.

  1. How long have you been swimming

I started open water swimming late in 2017.

  1. What is your favorite quote

“The temptation to quit will be strongest shortly after you’ve begun, and just before you finish. If you are aware of it, you can avoid it.” Lewis Pugh

  1. How do you stay motivated to train

I set smaller goals along the way.

  1. What is your favorite song to listen to prior to a swim

I don’t have a specific song.

  1. How do you prep for a event the day before

I plan the swim and visualize it. Make sure that I hydrate properly the day before the event. Proper nutrition in the days before an event is important. I lay out all my kit the night before and prepare my feeds. I try to get a good night’s sleep.

  1. What or who inspired you to start doing openwater swimming

I was at a motivational breakfast in 2016 where Toni Enderli was the keynote speaker. His presentation that day planted the seed.

  1. What is your favorite food to eat the night before a swim

Steak, eggs and chips 😊

  1. Which event from big bay events is your favorite

Langebaan Express

  1. Where is your favorite place to train for your upcoming events

The Langebaan lagoon