Carina Bruwer, internationally renowned contemporary flute player and founding member of the multiple award-winning instrumental group Sterling EQ, will attempt to swim approximately 22km from Nice (France), past Monte Carlo (Monaco) to Ventimiglia (Italy), in support of Muzukidz, an organization through which children from the township in Cape Town, South Africa are given the opportunity to learn to play the violin.
Carina will be on standby to swim from 17 September 2018 and will have a 3 day window period in order to wait for suitable weather conditions if need be. If successful, Carina will be the first solo swimmer to complete this unique triple country crossing. The swim will be conducted in accordance with English Channel swimming rules which entails swimming without a wetsuit, and starting and finishing on land.
Monaco-based local open water swimming events company BeWater will officiate over the swim, and supply a support boat which provides navigation and monitoring of the swimmer, who is however not allowed to make physical contact with the boat. Carina expects to be in the water for approximately 6 to 7 hours, although tides, currents, sea life and other sea and weather conditions can affect projected times and routes. After the swim, Carina will travel to Istanbul and Bodrum in Turkey, where she has been invited as the celebrity guest of the Arena Aquamasters Open Water Championships, and where Sterling EQ will also be performing.
Carina, one of the most recognisable instrumental musicians in South Africa who has toured extensively across the world, is no stranger to ocean swimming; she has, in fact, made an indelible mark on the open water and marathon swimming record books through many daring and record-breaking swimming feats since 2003. These include the 36km English Channel crossing, swimming from Europe to Africa across the Gibraltar Straits, swimming 35km to cross the “White shark capital of the world”, False Bay, and dozens more local and international extreme swims, where she set many firsts and broke numerous records through the years. In 2015, she was ranked as one of the World Open Water Swimming Association’s top 50 most “daring, courageous and audacious” open water swimmers in the world, and she has also been nominated for the International Marathon Swimming’s Hall of Fame.
All her recent ultra-distance and extreme swims have been done under the banner of “Swim For Hope”, a fundraising platform she founded in 2013 when she returned to open water swimming after a 5-year break during which she started a family. “As a young mother, I couldn’t justify spending hours and days on a swimming challenge if it was only for my own enjoyment, so made a deal with myself – any big swim I did had to make a difference to someone in need. And suddenly my swimming had more meaning than ever!”, says Carina.
Muzukidz, the beneficiary for this upcoming swim, aims to alleviate poverty by providing instrumental tuition to young learners from disadvantaged communities within the Cape Town surrounding areas. The Suzuki method is used, which is based on educating talent from early childhood. This learning process not only develops intellectual capacity but also focuses on emotional development and well-being. Time showed us that a growing passion and love for the instrument from early childhood years develops emotional stability and self-value before teenage years. This becomes a powerful tool to resist offers in later years leading to self-destruction involving teenagers in crime, drugs and gangsterism. Through this long-term investment in the lives of children, possibilities are also created to find study bursaries, employment in music careers, and to share expertise with other disadvantaged youth in the future.
Carina says “I believe that giving a child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument goes way beyond the ability to make music or the possibility of being a musician one day. Music stimulates the brain in a very special way; in fact, studies have shown that children who do 14 months of musical training displayed more powerful structural and functional brain changes. Imagine what this can do for a young child who comes from a poor background and who have limited opportunities and a limited support structure. I am convinced that organisations like Muzukidz are helping to mould our future leaders, inventors and change makers.”
Carina will be based in Monte Carlo and will be on standby to swim between 17 and 20 September and the swim will be called when conditions are most favourable. Members of the public, as well as corporates, are invited to follow Carina Bruwer’s social media interfaces (facebook and twitter) for live updates from the water on the day of the swim and are encouraged to sponsor and donate, all information and a donation platform are available on www.carina.co.za. Corporate sponsors can also contact Maria Botha on firstname.lastname@example.org for organisational and any other information.
Carina Bruwer: www.carina.co.za / www.sterlingeq.co.za
Carina Bruwer: www.facebook.com/carinabruwerofficial / www.instagram.com/carinarocksflute
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Marieza van Zyl