Cameron Bellamy is hoping to become the first person to swim a complete lap around the island of Barbados, a distance of about 96km. The 36-year-old South African plans to make his attempt in late August or early September 2018, depending on the weather conditions.
Bellamy, who lives in San Francisco, is no stranger to physical challenges. He was the 11th person in the world (and first South African) to complete the Oceans Seven set of channel swimming crossings and he has also undertaken several long-distance cycling and rowing adventures. However, if he completes the loop of Barbados, it will be his longest swim ever.
Barbados is in many ways a swimmer’s paradise. The water is clear and warm and, on the southern and western sides, usually calm. Swimmers can look forward to seeing turtles, stingrays, tropical fish and beautiful corals in the water. It is the home of the annual Barbados Open Water Swimming Festival, which takes place in November each year, in the beautiful and sheltered waters of Carlisle Bay, from where Bellamy’s swim is scheduled to start. However, the north and east coasts are exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean. Local folklore considers this part of the island to be non-swimmable due to strong and unpredictable currents.
If successful, the swim will take an estimate 36 hours. Bellamy has recently been spending time in Barbados preparing for his attempt with training swims of between eight and almost 24 hours!
Bellamy is raising funds for the Ubunye Challenge, a South African charity he founded that aims to support and enable some of the poorest and most underdeveloped rural areas of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The charity raises funds through completing endurance and adventurous challenges. The swim will also support two local charities in Barbados: Brightwater Kids and Variety Club – Barbados.