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Theodore Yach

From Openwaterpedia
Theodore Yach's Robben Island crossings are nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for recognition of his extraordinarily track record between Cape Town and Robben Island
Theodore Yach on the cover of the April 2016 issue of Open Water Swimming Magazine
King of Robben Island Theodore Yach
Theodore Yach, Extreme Swimmer
Theodore Yach
Theodore Yach's autobiography In My Element
Theodore Yach swimming around Cape Point in South Africa
Maura Sanderoff in middle with Delle Henry on left and Theodore Yach after completing his 79th Robben Island to Bloubergstrand crossing in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2014
Theodore Yach (in red swim cap), Avishug Turek (in white swim cap breathing to left) and pace swimmers on a tandem swim across the Sea of Galilee in Israel

Theodore Yach (1958-2018) was successful businessman and a high prolific ocean swimmer from Cape Town, South Africa who has completed 108 crossings between Robben Island and Cape Town. He was named a CLDSA Hero by the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association.

Open Water Swimming Career

1. on 25 November 1981, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 1 hours 54 minutes
2. on 31 October 1987, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 24 minutes
3. on 5 March 1988, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 27 minutes
4. on 12 May 1988, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 54 minutes
5. on 22 December 1988, 20.4 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 6 hours 53 minutes
6. on 22 December 1988, 20.4 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 6 hours 53 minutes
7. on 2 June 1991, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
8. on 23 February 1993, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 21 minutes
9. on 14 August 1993, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
10. on 7 May 1994, 20 km from Camps Bay to Robben Island in 5 hours 30 minutes
11. on 14 May 1995, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 14 minutes
12. on 17 February 1996, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 54 minutes
13. on 19 May 1996, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 58 minutes
14. on 20 December 1997, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 17 minutes
15. on 22 February 1998, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 18 minutes
16. on 1 May 1998, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
17. on 3 October 1998, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 26 minutes
18. on 2 January 1999, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
19. on 1 May 1999, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 15 minutes
20. on 6 November 1999, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
21. on 18 November 1999, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 10 minutes
22. on 30 December 1999, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 33 minutes
23. on 10 June 2000, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 31 minutes
24. on 14 October 2000, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
25. on 3 March 2001, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 38 minutes
26. on 1 May 2001, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 42 minutes
27. on 18 May 2001, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
28. on 16 June 2001, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 1 minutes
29. on 23 September 2001, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 3 hours 9 minutes
30. on 2 March 2002, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 12 minutes
31. on 11 May 2002, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 18 minutes
32. on 2 June 2002, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 36 minutes
33. on 30 December 2002, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 4 hours 19 minutes
34. on 1 March 2003, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 23 minutes
35. on 26 April 2003, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
36. on 31 May 2003, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 16 minutes
37. on 19 October 2003, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 59 minutes
38. on 30 November 2003, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 13 minutes
39. on 27 March 2004, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 3 minutes
40. on 14 April 2004, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
41. on 30 January 2005, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 44 minutes
42. on 11 September 2005, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
43. on 18 February 2006, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 38 minutes
44. on 5 March 2006, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 5 minutes
45. on 12 May 2006, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 22 minutes
46. on 5 January 2007, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 15 minutes
47. on 17 February 2007, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 21 minutes
48. on 31 March 2007, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
49. on 1 May 2007, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 14 minutes
50. on 4 April 2008, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 5 minutes
51. on 27 April 2008, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 54 minutes
52. on 28 September 2008, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 43 minutes
53. on 26 April 2009, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
54. on 28 November 2009, 20.4 km from Three Anchor Bay to Round Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 10 hours 39 minutes
55. on 28 November 2009, 20.4 km from Three Anchor Bay to Round Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay (two-way) in 10 hours 39 minutes
56. on 2 May 2010, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 51 minutes
57. on 4 December 2010, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
58. on 18 December 2010, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 2 hours 58 minutes
59. on 13 February 2011, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
60. on 19 March 2011, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 49 minutes
61. on 25 August 2011, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 45 minutes
62. on 25 September 2011, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 36 minutes
63. on 29 January 2012, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 33 minutes
64. on 18 March 2012, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
65. on 29 July 2012, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 27 minutes
66. on 16 September 2012, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 27 minutes
67. on 2 October 2012, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
68. on 15 December 2012, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 33 minutes
69. on 17 February 2013, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 2 hours 45 minutes
70. on 6 March 2013, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 29 minutes
71. on 11 May 2013, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
72. on 17 June 2013 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 35 minutes
73. on 10 July 2013, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 4 minutes
74. on 2 October 2013, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 19 minutes
75. on 3 November 2013, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 47 minutes
76. on 24 November 2013, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 22 minutes
77. on 27 December 2013, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 4 hours 20 minutes
78. on 26 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 24 minutes
79. on 1 March 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
80. on 29 March 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 13 minutes
81. on 8 April 2014, 27 km from Llandudno to Robben Island in 7 hours 3 minutes
82. on 28 June 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 14 minutes
83. on 30 July 2014, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 31 minutes
84. on 17 August 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
85. on 7 November 2014, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 17 minutes
86. on 29 November 2014, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 3 hours 52 minutes
87. on 1 January 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 20 minutes
88. on 24 January 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
89. on 15 March 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 8 minutes
90. on 30 March 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 21 minutes
91. on 12 April 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 15 minutes
92. on 17 May 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 30 minutes
93. on 20 June 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 34 minutes
94. on 9 October 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 43 minutes
95. on 22 November 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg on 2 hours 0 minutes
96. on 6 December 2015, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 1 hour 59 minutes
97. on 17 December 2015, 10.2 km from Three Anchor Bay to Robben Island in 4 hours 36 minutes
98. on 16 January 2016, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 26 minutes
99. on 13 February 2016, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 40 minutes
100. on 22 March 2016, 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 10 minutes
101. on 26 October 2016 10.2 km from Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hours 28 minutes
102. on 21 March 2017, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 32 minutes
103. on 20 April 2017, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 35 minutes
104. on 4 July 2017, 7.4 km from Robben Island to Blouberg in 2 hours 27 minutes

The Great Shark Swim

Yach participated in the Great Shark Swim, a 100 km charity swim organised by Madswimmer along the fast Agulhas Current in South Africa with an estimated finish time of 12+ hours along the KwaZulu Natal Coast.

In My Element

He also wrote an autobiography called In My Element. After successfully swimming across the English Channel in 14 hours 25 minutes, completing the Robben Island to Cape Town crossing a record 98 times, and being the first person to swim around Robben Island from Cape Town and back in an 11-hour swim, In My Element is his inspirational story. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the National Sea Rescue Institute. The book was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award.

Open Water Organisation

He also founded and organizes the Atlantic Dash from Clifton 4th Beach to 3 Anchor Bay in Cape Town.

Professional Career

  • Yach was responsible for acquisitions at zenprop and the founding director at Cape Town CCID. He was previously the Chairperson of at Cape Town Central City Improvement District and the Director and Founding member at Cape Town Central City.
  • Yach helped to create the Cape Town Partnership and the Cape Town Central City Improvement District which were key players in reversing the decline of Cape Town’s CBD in the 1990s into the global model of excellence it is today. The unique partnerships he helped establish between business and the City has helped draw over R25bn of new investment into Cape Town. He received a Civic Award from the City of Cape Town in 2010 for this work.
  • Yach was a trustee of the Mauerberger Foundation, which provides scholarships and educational support, and a director of Wesgro, the Western Cape’s official Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.
  • Yach was a past Chairperson of the Cape Town Heritage Trust (2007-2011) which restores heritage quality buildings in Central Cape Town, as well as past President of Highlands House Jewish Aged Home, of which he has been a Trustee since 2010.

Theodore Yach Extreme Swimming

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men

He was named one of the World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Men in 2015 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominee

Yach was nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year by the World Open Water Swimming Association along with the following nominees:

1. Andreas Fath (Germany) Swim for Science
2. Andrea Fazio (Italy) Like Father, Like Son
3. Christian Reichert (Germany) FINA World Cup Champion
4. Dan Projansky (U.S.A.) Butterflying Marathoner
5. Jim Clifford (U.S.A.) Oldest Triple Crowner
6. Fast and Frozen by Henri Kaarma (Estonia), Ryan Stramrood (South Africa), Anna Carin-Nordin (Sweden), Patrick Corcoran (Ireland), Zdeněk Thalmika (Czech Republic), Elina Makïnen (Finland) Two-way North Channel Relay
7. Ganga Avahan by by Paramvir Singh, Gullupilli Narahari, Saripilli Srihari (India) Stage Swimmers
8. Jordan Wilimovsky (U.S.A.) Olympian & World Champion
9. Kelly Gneiting (U.S.A.) Sumo Swimmer
10. Kimberley Chambers (New Zealand) Farallon Freestyler
11. Matthew Moseley (U.S.A.) Trifecta Lake-Ocean-River Swimmer
12. Mike Arbuthnot (South Africa) Midmar Mile Founder
13. Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) Camel Swim
14. Night Train Swimmers by Grace van der Byl, Dave Holscher, Kimberley Chambers, Adam Eilath, Ashley Horne, Vito Bialla (U.S.A./New Zealand) NT300 Relay
15. Oceans Seven Relay by Rick Gaenzle, Chris Kraus, Brian Ross (U.S.A.) Triumphant Trio
16. Susan Simmons (Canada) Swimming with Multiple Sclerosis
17. Swim The Eden Expedition by Calum Hudson, Jack Hudson, Robbie Hudson (Great Britain) Brotherly Wild Swim
18. Team Nadadores Locos by Amy Appelhans Gubser, Kirk McKinney, Les Mangold, John Sims, Jeff Everett, Andrew McLaughlin (U.S.A.) Two-way Farallon Islands Relay
19. The Old Men And The Sea Relay by Don Baker, Dr. Bill Spore, Dave Radcliffe, Graham Johnston, Bob Best, Bob Beach, Norm Stupfel (U.S.A.) Catalina Cruisers
20. The Deep Enders by Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, Stacey Warmuth (U.S.A.) San Nicholas Channelers
21. Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
22. Trent Theroux (U.S.A.) Comeback Circumnavigation
23. Wendy Trehiou (Jersey) Saint Malo to Jersey

2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year nomination

Yach's Century Swim was nominated as the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Theodore Yach (South Africa) Robben Island Swimmer
The Robben Island swim is a destination event, enjoyed by thousands who come from around the world to swim 7 km from the famed island prison to the beautiful shores of Cape Town, South Africa. But there is one swimmer who stands out. Mile after mile, year after year, decade after decade without fail, Theodore Yach has looked across the cold waters from Robben Island to his beautiful Cape Town and put his head down. 94 times the 55-year-old has successfully made the Robben Island crossing, encountering everything from tricky tides to threatening sharks. Along the way, he has down many other challenging swims for charitable purposes, but it is Robben Island that always calls him back to the sea. For his charitable works and campaigns centered around Robben Island, for his lifelong dedication as the King of Robben Island, and for his sense of adventure to keep pushing himself as he ages, Theodore Yach's Robben Island Swims is a worthy nominee for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Robben Island Crossing on Super Swimmer


with Roger Finch, Martin Goodman and Theodore Yach

External links