The initial plan for 2019 was to attempt a swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. Cameron put in the rigorous training, spent considerable time researching the past attempts, secured a support boat and assembled a global support crew to join him on the swim. However, in late August, the permission required for the support boat to enter Cuban waters was denied by the US Government, based on the more stringent regulations enacted in June 2019.
Despite this extremely disappointing setback, Cameron, who hasn’t given up on his Cuba swim dream, continued his “crazy” swim schedule including two recent 24-hour training swims and devised an incredible alternate plan. Plan B: pioneering a new swim route between Barbados and St. Lucia – this will be the longest channel swim ever. The distance is about 100 miles or 160K, a comparable distance to the Cuba Swim but in Bellamy’s words: “Its trickier than the Florida Straits in myriad ways.”
The “Swim Around Barbados” was a highly significant, defining moment in the life of athlete extraordinaire, Cameron Bellamy. The fourth longest non-stop, unassisted sea swim ever was completed under imperfect conditions including fourteen plus hours of adverse currents, detours due to large swells, a powerful squall and frequent backwash from cliffs. But Bellamy, a man who exemplifies the very definition of perseverance, drew on his steely resolve, maintained an uncanny focus and similar stroke rate throughout and with his sheer determination defeated the unforgiving seas after almost two days of swimming. This outstanding success announced the arrival of a serious contender for conquering the world’s longest and most difficult open water swims.
The start of the Barbados to St Lucia swim is tentatively scheduled for September 15 and is dependent on a suitable “weather window” - a period of at least three days when favourable conditions are predicted. The swim could take between fifty and sixty hours to complete and real time tracking will be available online.
In addition to his outstanding swimming accomplishments, Cameron was part of a team of six who rowed from Geraldton, Australia to the Seychelles in 2014. For the 57-day, 6270 km journey he received two Guinness World Records for the longest distance rowed by a team in the Indian Ocean and the fastest ever crossing.
When Cameron confronts this incredibly challenging Caribbean-crossing he will do so in support of the Ubunye Challenge’s Southern African projects as well as local educational causes in Barbados and St. Lucia.
Follow the swim on Cameron’s athlete page: https://www.facebook.com/CamUbunye/
For further details on this epic adventure contact Kristina Evelyn at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 2011 by South African Cameron Bellamy, the charity focuses primarily on the provision of early childhood education in poor and isolated areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Cameron grew up in a privileged suburb in Cape Town and often saw children his own age not attending school. This had a profound effect on him and led to the birth of the Ubunye Challenge years later.
Over the past eight years, the Ubunye Challenge, together with partners Ubunye Foundation and Vimba, has assisted in creating 16 new early childhood development sites in the rural Eastern Cape of South Africa. These sites now teach 350 children on a daily basis. Ubunye is currently fundraising to supply these 16 sites with access to the internet to assist with technology and computerized learning.
In Zimbabwe the Ubunye Challenge has constructed classroom blocks at Mapere Primary School, a severely over-populated school in the disadvantaged area of Concession and is currently funding a very ambitious project to build the first A-level school, Mwenje Secondary School, in the same area. This year Mwenje enrolled 100 students in forms 1 and 2. Ubunye has recently fundraised the amount needed for the construction of the 3rdand 4thForm classroom blocks which will enrol students in early 2020.
The Ubunye Challenge additionally assists local Caribbean educational causes. Cameron has spent considerable time in the Caribbean while swim training and competing. He feels very close to the region and passionate about assisting in the education of its youth.
Follow the Ubunye Challenge on Facebook.
Visit the Ubunye Challenge website.