Langebaan Lagoon Crossing
On 24 (or 25) March 2012, the 3rd Annual Langebaan Lagoon Crossing will be held, where participants will cross the Langebaan Lagoon from Shark Bay to Kraal Bay using muscle power alone.
Although planned as an open water swim, swimming aids, kayaks, paddle boards, surf boards and any other more original methods are allowed and encouraged. Maximum fun, environmental awareness and safety remain the main themes of the 2012
It is an unofficial, social swim and paddle across the Langebaan Lagoon. We will start from the Langebaan side and swim/row across to Kraal Bay.
When is it?
It is planned for Saturday 24 March 2012, with Sunday 25 March as a standby date for weather.
Do I have to be fit? How far is it?
You should be fit and cleared to participate in strenuous activity. If you have never attempted open water swimming, this is ideal exposure, although you should be swimming fit. If you are unsure, rent a kayak and 'test the water' this year before deciding to swim the next one.
For the swimmers, the total distance is 4 km (of which 1.9 km can be waded or walked on the sand bar). The deep water crossing (actual swim) is 2.1 km. For the paddlers, the total distance is 5.3 km. (See map above)
Have you done it before?
Yes, the event was started in 2010. 2012 will be the third time we attempt this annual challenge.
It is safe? What about sharks, boats and currents?
The Langebaan Lagoon is generally very safe and no shark attacks have been recorded in the last 30 years. The tides can cause very strong currents, but the deep water crossing is planned to commence at low tide, so any currents thereafter will push you towards the finish at Kraal Bay. The kayaks or paddlers will act as a safety net and will accompany swimmers to assist when necessary. Though there is a spirit of camaraderie and fun, bear in mind that open water activities are potentially hazardous and all participation will be at own risk.
How cold is the water?
The water temperature is pleasant and can range between 18 to 25 degrees Celsius. It is advisable to wear a short wetsuit for buoyancy, but you are more than welcome to swim in less.
How do I enter?
Complete and submit the online entry form. Registration will be done on the morning of the event.
How much will it cost?
The cost will be announced soon, but we aim to keep it as low as possible, whilst catering for all needs. Expect about R60-70pp, which will include boat assistance, transport back from Kraal Bay and something to eat when you get there.
Is anyone making any money out of this?
No. It is a non-profit event and any financial gain will be used for awareness campaigns, the West Coast National Park and the next year's event.
Are there any prizes?
There are no prizes (unless you want to sponsor some, of course). Last person there blows the vuvuzela, which will indicate a safe crossing for all.
I do not have a kayak, but I would like to row across. Where can I get one?
There are kayaks available for rental from a number of places in Langebaan. Alternatively, try to borrow one from one of the friendly Langebaan locals. Post on the Facebook page to make your needs known.
Are there any rules?
Provided that you are safe, do not litter or cause problems for any of the other participants, no. It is advisable that all swimmers wear bright swimming caps and whistles for safety.
Are children allowed to participate?
Yes, but children under 16 have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
What safety measures are in place?
The kayaks will form the first safety net. As a paddler, you will be expected to assist swimmers where necessary. We have the support of the NSRI and will have two safety boats in the water. Furthermore we will have paramedics and a doctor on standby. All evacuation and medical expenses and safety in general will be the participant's own responsibility. You will be required to sign an indemnity form at registration.
Who is organising it?
My name is Gerhard Lourens and I am the main organiser. We have the support of the Saldanha Bay Tourism Organisation and the tourism manager, Dave Osborne. As a keen swimmer, I will also be swimming on the day, so I will rely heavily on the support of other individuals to ensure safety and seamless execution. It is important to note that this is a social event - please approach it in that spirit and bear with any unplanned delays or snags in the spirit of the day. If you are a more competitive or fussy person, please stick to larger events where you can throw your toys. If you would like to assist with any aspect, please .
Why is there a standby date and when will you decide about moving it to the standby date?
On the morning of 21 March 2012, we will make the call as to whether the event will take place on Saturday or Sunday. This might be slightly inconvenient for your planning, but in the past we have learned that a little flexibility can mean a lot more enjoyment. The last thing we want is to swim into a howling South Easter when the next day would have been beautiful and calm. Please understand this arrangement in the interest of safety and enjoyment for all. The best way to approach it is to see it as a weekend in Langebaan.
What if both days are bad?
If the weather is detrimental to safety on both planned days, the event will be postponed to a later date.
NB: If you have any more questions, please post them on our Facebook wall for feedback.
Updated by Gerhard Lourens
13 March 2012