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Mt. Ojos The Big Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Madswimmers Charity Swims is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Association WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe

The Mt. Ojos The Big Swim (or The Highest Swim) is a high-altitude swim across the lake on Mount Ojos del Salado at 6,400 km above sea level by the Madswimmers. The Ojos swim is part 1 of 2 of the Hi/Low Swim Challenge: Ojos will be the highest swim and the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel will be the lowest open water swim in the following year.


Madswimmers Honors[edit]

The Madswimmers Charity Swims is nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

The Highest Swim[edit]

Mount Ojos del Salado Swim[edit]

The Highest Swim[edit]

Madswimmers doing high-altitude swimming at 5909m (19,386 feet) in a frozen lake on Mt Tres Cruces, a volcano in the Andes Mountains along the Argentina - Chile border in South America with the water temperature between 0.5 - 2ºC (32.9ºF - 35.6ºC). Jean Craven, Herman van der Westhuizen and Chris Marthinusen completed the 5-minute neoprened wild swim while Evan Feldman and Milton Brest swam in wetsuits and Robert Graaff and Juandre Human were unable to partake in the final swim due to medical restraints after a 6-hour hike up the volcano and a laborious creating of the small area to swim through the 20 cm thick ice covering.

Mt. Ojos Principals[edit]

Jean Craven, Hardi Wilkins and Mona Van Eeden of the Madswimmers, a registered charity that is centered around open water swimming challenges and high-altitude swim expeditions to raise funds for children's charities.

2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination[edit]

Madswimmers Charity Swims by Jean Craven
Madswimmers has been raising funds for good children causes throughout its existence. This year, their challenge was an unprecedented 35 km Swahili Channel Crossing between Zanzibar Island and the mainland of Tanzania. Founded by Jean Craven in 2009, Madswimmers have also crossed Lake Tanganyika (38 km 12 hours), Sterkfontein Dam crossing (17 km), Knysna Lagoon (14.5 km in winter) and Lewis Tarn, the highest lake in Africa on Mt Kenya (4800m above sea level), raising more than US$300,000 for its causes. Madswimmers Jean Craven, Juandre Human, Hardi Wilkins and Megan Harrington-Johnson crossed the highest water body in Africa, Lewis Tarn at 4700 meters above sea level high up on the slopes in Mount Kenya in 6.5°C water. It was a training swim for their Ojos Swim which is at 6,300 meter with 1-2°C water. For having to carry chain saws up at 6,300 meters to cut open the top ice layer, for raising money and awareness of various children charities, and for helping push forward the frontiers of high-altitude swims, the Madswimmers Charity Swims are a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Madswimmers' Completed Swims[edit]

  • 22 February 2015: Crossing Sterkfontein Dam South Africa with Jean Craven, Terry Bantock, Megan Harrington-Johnson, Nadia Bacchini, Emil Berning, Duncan Kukard and Milton Brest swam 18.15 km in 5 hours 16 minutes, crossing the full length of the Sterkfontein Dam. Eleven others did a relay. They were Mona van Eeden, Nadia Bacchini, Hardi Wilkins, Linda Main, Elaine Sinden, Dean Jones, Darren Madgwick, Georgina Dorelay, Chelsea Bosworth, Zia Hattingh, Jeandre Fourie, Wessel Jacobsz, Victoria Rose, Wilna Bonthuys and Kobie Odendaal. The team was supported by Johann Theron and raised R8,000 in aid of the SAVF Louis Hildebrandt Children’s Home in Volksrust.
  • 8 November 2014: The 38.5 km Swim for Nsumbu is an open water swimming event on Lake Tanganyika from Tanzania in the east to Zambia in the west. The charity swim created to bring attention to the challenges facing Lake Tanganyika – challenges caused by overfishing, climate change, poaching and general environmental degradation.Jean Craven was the only swimmer to complete the entire distance non-stop in 12 hours. The Madswimmer relay swimmers was: Megan Harrington-Johnson, Michiel le Roux, Milton Brest, Gary Isbister, Jessica Comana, Elaine Sinden, Linda Main, Robert Dunford, Shaun Davy, Marcel du Toit and Marius de la Rey.
  • 15 October 2012 - 21.1 km Red Sea crossing in 4 hours 55 minutes by Jean Craven, Robert Dunford and Michiel le Roux, supported by Johann Theron.
  • 21 Otober 2011 - 23.3 km Australasia to Asia, from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia (island of Papua) Jean Craven with support from Andrew “Long Shanks” Mclaggan
  • 23 September 2013: North America to South America by Jean Craven, Rob Dunford and Gerhard Zandberg who crossed 21.3 km in 7 hours 12 minutes across the Chagres River that forms the mainstay of the Panama Canal and is the natural split between North and South America. Michiel le Roux, Linda Main and Evan Feldman who swam a relay.


  • Bram Fischer Trust, launched by Nelson Mandela endeavours to raise funds to enable boys who would otherwise not be able to afford it, to attend Grey College.
  • The Children’s Hospital Trust was founded in 1994 as the independent Fundraising Arm of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa when the Hospital was threatened with closure due to a lack of funding.
  • Foodbank South Africa is South Africa’s national foodbanking network. The section 21 not-for-profit company was established in 2009 and is a member of the Global Foodbanking Network.
  • HospiVision provides spiritual care, counselling, educational and trauma support to children and their families in health crisis.
  • Hope Through Action was specifically created in 2007 to bring about an imaginative and life changing initiative for young people in South Africa.
  • Jan Hofmeyer is a non-racial charity organisation registered with the Department of Social Development as an independent non-profit organization, to uplift the marginalised communities of Jan Hofmeyer, Vredepark and Vrededorp.
  • Miles for Mercia was started in 2013 as a ‘paying it forward’ initiative in aid of cerebral palsied individuals.
  • ORT SA Cape enrichs education in impoverished schools and communities focusing on critical educational challenges in Technology, Mathematics and Literacy.
  • SAVF renders welfare and welfare related services. This includes Child and youth care, statutory work, foster care and care in children’s homes. Developmental programmes, job creation and life enhancement programmes.
  • The Seal Swimming Trust identifies disadvantaged swimmers and swimming programmes and provides sustainable support in an attempt to nurture and promote new talent and to help bring swimming to disadvantaged communities.
  • WACDT (Waehuiskrans/Arniston Community Development Trust) supports local economic development, especially projects related to sustainable tourism, environmental tourism, sea life and programmes to conserve the unique ecology and heritage of Waenhuiskrans/Arniston.

External links[edit]