The wildly cool Torpedo SwimRun took to the roads, trails and icy Atlantic Ocean of Cape Town on Saturday, 18 November. The event boasted three distances; the extreme Ops, the racing Cape, and the introduction to SwimRun Cosy. In the Cape race the mixed category was the day’s focus, with prizes being awarded to the fastest teams made up of a man and a woman. As it played out, Sabina Rapelli and Nicolas Remires, were very nearly the fastest over the course, just being pipped on the line by Troy McWilliam and Antony Clayton.

The Swiss/French combination are elite SwimRun athletes and were visiting South Africa to take part in the Torpedo SwimRun Cape event and promote the sport beyond its European stronghold. Despite their international pedigree they were pressed throughout and eventually beaten on the line by McWilliam and Clayton. Both competing in the Under 16 age category in swim meets, McWilliam and Clayton took gold and silver in the 5 kilometre race at the 2023 South African Open Water Swimming Championships. This stood them in great stead as they thrived in the choppy ocean conditions.

Nicolas Remires

French elite SwimRun athlete, Nicolas Remires raced to second place overall and the mixed category victory alongside Sabina Rapelli. Photo by Johann Minnaar.

“We were fighting all the way from start to finish,” Remires, who is more accustomed to longer distance SwimRun races, said. “We knew we would catch them [McWilliam and Clayton], but it required good teamwork and a lot of mental toughness to keep pushing hard. “It was hard, especially in the final kilometres when we had them in our sights,” Rapelli added. “Troy [McWilliam] and Antony [Clayton] were so fast in the water and with the choppy ocean conditions the swims were really hard today. We finished right with them; they were just that little bit quicker.”

The top two teams hit the beach in unison, with McWilliams and Clayton sprinting up Clifton Fourth to victory, while Rapelli and Remires were content with second overall and the mixed category win. The third team over the line was made up by frequent Torpedo competitors, Robert Shaff and Robert Tweddle. Kim and Simon van Gysen placed second in the mixed category, ahead of Lauren Granger and Thomas Hofmeyr. Lisa Buschek and Maryna Beukes won the women’s competition.

Sabina Rapelli

Sabina Rapelli confessed that it was a tough day out, chasing the young South Africans who proved fastest, especially over the race’s 6 swim legs. Photo by Johan Minnaar.

The bravest of the brave took on the event without wetsuits, racing ‘skins’. They faced 12 degree waters with no additional insolation but still emerged smiling. Henriette Joubert and Louis Stofberg were the fastest of the skins teams, ahead of Keri Espey and Keith Theunissen as well as Sarah Anders and Emma Loubser.

The 16 kilometre Cape route, featured 6 runs and 6 swims, starting above Sandy Bay and finishing at Clifton Fourth. Athletes who wanted an even bigger challenge took on the Ops course, which began with a boat trip from Hout Bay, around the Karbonkelberg peninsula to the wreck of the Bos 400. From there SwimRun athletes were required to dive into the icy waters and swim across Moari Bay to Duiker Point, before running the Ou Skip hiking trail to Sandy Bay where they joined the standard Cape route. In total the 20 kilometre course required Ops competitors to conquer 7 swims and 7 runs. The first of the Ops teams across the line was the combination of Keith Davies and James Townsend-Rose.


Many SwimRun athletes choose to use hand paddles in order to speed up their swims. Photo by Seamus Allardice.

Newcomers to SwimRun racing could dip their toes in the water with the Cosy event. Unlike the longer distances athletes could take part individually rather than in teams of two. It featured a 7 kilometre route, with 3 runs and 3 swims. Jack Allott took gold in the short course, holding off Matthew Brooker by just 9 seconds while his father, Bryan Allott, finished third 16 seconds off the winning time. Hannah Osborn on the women’s race in the Torpedo SwimRun Cosy, ahead of Jessie Allott and Robyn Mackinnon, who were only separated by a few tenths of a second.

Warren Weitsz

Warren Weitsz grinning from ear to ear as he emerges from the Oudekraal swim. Photo by Johan Minnaar.

2023 Torpedo SwimRun Results

Cape Overall

  1. swimzone2023: Troy McWilliam & Antony Clayton (2:03:25)
  2. TEAM ENVOL: Sabina Rapelli & Nicolas Remires (2:03:59)
  3. Two Robs don’t make a right: Robert Tweddle & Robert Shaff (2:12:42)

Cape Mixed

  1. TEAM ENVOL: Sabina Rapelli & Nicolas Remires (2:03:59)
  2. The Van Gysen’s: Simon & Kim van Gysen (2:26:17)
  3. The Cutest of Cousins: Thomas Hofmeyr & Lauren Granger (2:26:42)

Cape Women’s

  1. Lima Lima: Lisa Buschek & Maryna Beukes (2:55:14)
  2. Slippery Seal: Marga Kannenberg & Brit King ( 2:57:31)
  3. Terrors: Lauren Muzik & Marisa Berndsen (3:12:19)

Torpedo SwimRun challenges athletes to swim and run in the same gear throughout, which means that the vast majority of the field opt to race in wetsuits. Photo by Johan Minnaar.

Cape Skins Overall

  1. Pikkewyne: Henriette Joubert & Louis Stofberg (3:16:34)
  2. K²: Keri Espey & Keith Theunissen (3:34:31)
  3. Dragonflies: Sarah Anders & Emma Loubser (3:58:51)

Ops Overall

  1. Old, Bold & Cold: Keith Davies & James Townsend-Rose (3:24:54)
  2. Originals: Jacqueline Vockins & Karen Graaff (3:25:30)
  3. Malcolm & Justin: Malcolm Buchanan & Justin Sage (3:36:47)

A great crowd gathered at Clifton Fourth to cheer on the Torpedo SwimRun Cape, Cosi and Ops finishers. Photo by Johan Minnaar.

Cosy Men’s

  1. Jack Allott (36:23)
  2. Matthew Brooker (36:32)
  3. Bryan Allott (36:39)

Cosy Women’s

  1. Hannah Osborn (50:15)
  2. Jessie Allott (51:08)
  3. Robyn Mackinnon (51:08)

For more information on Torpedo SwimRun events and SwimRun racing in general visit To view the results in full click here.

Oudekraal swim

Launching into the longest swim of the race, the 1 300 metre swim from Oudekraal to Cosi Bay. Photo by Johan Minnaar.