Ardagh Glass Packaging World Ocean Day Swim Media Release

  No: WODS2307

7 June 2023

    Embargo : None

Written By : Tim Whitfield

World Oceans Day swim more important than just chasing titles

Durban - Over 300 swimmers will descend on the Durban Beach Club for the Ardagh Glass Packaging World Oceans Day Swim on Saturday, in an event that represents a much bigger cause than the average open-water race.

While the elite swimmers will be chasing titles in the 5km, 3.2km, 1.6km or 800m races, the event represents a battle in the war against cleaner oceans and is part of the worldwide fight against pollution.

The key instigator for the event is world-renowned Durban endurance swimmer Sarah Ferguson, and she summed it up perfectly by saying: “The swim is really for ocean lovers to have an event that is going to create awareness for plastic pollution. As a swimmer, I want to raise awareness for my sport, but I also thought it would be fun to offer a longer swim in honour of World Oceans Day, and so help create an awareness about why we should protect the oceans."

Ferguson is a passionate and devoted campaigner for ocean conservation in KwaZulu-Natal, and all proceeds from the event will be going to her foundation, Breath Conservation, an organisation dedicated to eliminating plastic pollution in the ocean.

While the cause is without doubt noble, there is also a strong competitive element across all four distances with the ultra-distance racers targeting the 5km while the traditional "milers" will be focusing on the 1.6km event.

In the women's 5km race one of the competitors to watch, is clearly Ferguson herself. The 41-year-old has mostly moved on from hardcore competitive swimming and now focuses on record-breaking swims for conservation causes. Her regular ultra-distance swims mean she is still in peak condition and the longer the distance, the tougher she will be to beat.

However, despite her motivation to win "her own" event, former Springbok swimmer may find it tough to beat teenager Mykae Forrest, while Rebekah Olivier has been named as a possible dark horse for the 5km women's title.

In the men's race, 21-year-old Matthew Pelser is being touted as the man to beat, but he is expected to face a challenge from Clifton schoolboy Damian Angel while Levi Scott sure to be pushing him hard and Kai Forrest is another who could spring a surprise.

In the 3.2km, a three-way battle is expected in the women's event with Bailey Forrest tipped to grab the honours from Tayla Bruce and Jadyn-Lee Joubert.

The swimmers are due to start from 7am with the event registration beginning at 5.30am and the race briefings at 6.45am. The 800m and 1.6km swims will be one lap with all events starting just south of uShaka Pier with the finishing flags on the same beach but a bit further south. The 3.2km event is two laps of the 1.6km course with the 5km swimmers doing one long lap to a turning point near New Pier and then a second lap of the 1.6km course.

More information about Breathe can be found at


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Ardagh Glass Packaging World Ocean Day Swim logo  
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Swimmers of all ages will bei n action at the Ardagh Glass Packaging World Ocean Day Swim on Saturday.
Ant Grote /
Gameplan Media

Eventual winner Aiden Peterson hits the water first at the start of the 1,6 kilometre race in 2021 at the World Oceans Day Swim.
Ant Grote /
Gameplan Media
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