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'Doyen of Robben Island crossing' Theodore Yach dies

Yach was a veteran of 108 Robben Island swims, an English Channel swim and many other international distance swims.

Theodore Yach with his long-distance swimming award in 2016. Picture: @yachtheodore/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s most renowned open water sea swimmer, Theodore Yach of Cape Town, passed away on Wednesday afternoon.

Theodore Yach at was sixty-years-old at his time of passing. He was undergoing routine tests for an asthma complaint when he collapsed and passed away in hospital.

He was a veteran of 108 Robben Island swims, an English Channel swim and many other international distance swims.

In 2016‚ Yach completed his 100th swim between Robben Island and the Cape Town shoreline.

Another prominent South African extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood, who has done 81 crossings to Robben Island himself, shared his thoughts on Yach.

"A true legend of the open water swimming in and around Cape Town and he's the doyen of Robben Island crossings, doing more crossings than anybody else in the world at the moment and there are lot of us that are doing it.

"One thing I absolutely loved about Theo, there is a couple of routes you can do Robben Island. One is from the island to Blouberg Beach, which is the so-called shorter route of seven-and-a-half kilometres, but Theo did the majority of his 100 crossings to Three Anchor Bay which is an 11 kilometre crossing. He never took the easy route and that’s one of the things I liked about him."

He will be remembered as a humble gentleman who loved motivating the youth to achieve their dreams. He was a friend to all and took interest in all swimmers who shared his passion for sea swimming.

He leaves behind his wife Michelle and two sons Daniel and David.

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