INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON BELLAMY
Over the past 6 years Cameron has amassed 10 Guinness World Records in the sport of ocean rowing and open water swimming.
His most recent accomplishment in December 2019 includes being a member of the Impossible Row, the first human powered crossing from South America to Antarctica, across the notorious Drake Passage, by rowboat.
In September 2019, he completed the longest channel swim in history when he swam 151km continuously from Barbados to St Lucia in over 56 hours. Cameron completes all of his endurance feats for the Ubunye Challenge, a charity he founded in 2011, which focuses on funding infrastructure for early childhood development projects in the Eastern Cape and educational projects Northern Zimbabwe.
The Ubunye Challenge has raised over R4 million.
FOLLOW CAMERON ON ALL OF HIS ADVENTURES
SOME OF CAMERON’S EPIC ADVENTURES
THE IMPOSSIBLE ROW
- December 2019
- 600 miles
- 13 Days
The first human powered expedition from South America to Antarctica across the Drake Passage, by rowboat. The crew of 6 endured vicious storms, monstrous waves and freezing Antarctic conditions in a tiny 28 ft rowboat, completing the journey in 13 days. They rowed in 1.5 hour shifts 24 hours a day and encountered blue whales, orcas, and myriad colonies of penguins. The crew were awarded 5 Guinness World Records, 3 of which being ‘explorers firsts’.
LONGEST CHANNEL SWIM IN HISTORY: BARBADOS TO ST LUCIA
- September 2019
- 151 km
- 56 hours
Cameron endured 32 degree water, sun burn and salt sores on his lips, and deadly jelly fish stings through 56 hours of continuous swimming to successfully complete the longest channel swim in history, a 151km crossing between Barbados and St Lucia in the Caribbean.
LONGEST CIRCUMNAVIGATION SWIM IN HISTORY: SWIM AROUND BARBADOS
- November 2018
- 96 km
- 41 hours
Cameron became the first person to complete a highly complex circumnavigation of the island of Barbados, swimming a grueling 60 miles around the jagged coastline in 41 hours.
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.
FASTEST CROSSING OF THE INDIAN OCEAN
- 11 June 2014 – 7 August 2014
- 6270 km
- 57 Days
On 11 June 2014 a team of 7 set off on a 45 foot rowing boat from Geraldton, Australia to the Seychelles.
The team rowed 2 hours on/2 hours off (12 hours a day) for the entirety of the journey.
On route they survived 50-foot waves during the tail end of hurricane, almost being run over by an oil tanker, a collision with a blue whale, interaction with West African pirates, amongst many other adventures.
The team was awarded with 2 Guinness World Records for the fastest crossing of the Indian Ocean and the furthest distance rowed by a team.
THE OCEANS 7
- 5 July 2012 – 22 June 2018
On June 22, 2018 Cameron swam across the Tsugaru Strait of Japan and became only the 11th person in the world, and first South African, to complete the Oceans Seven of Open Water Swimming. The Ocean Seven consists of the seven toughest channel swims around the world (akin to the 7 Summits of Mountaineering), including:
The Cook Strait
A swim between the South and North Islands of New Zealand, known for its cold water and volatile weather. 15% of attempts encounter sharks.
Date: 11 March 2018. Distance: 32km Duration:12 hours 43 minutes
The Molokai Channel
A swim between the islands of Molokai and Oahu in Hawaii. Known for its big seas, long distance, and myriad species of poisonous jelly fish.
Date: 15 February 2017. Distance: 46 km Duration:17 hours 6 minutes
The North Channel
A swim between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Known for being the hardest of the Oceans 7 swims.
It is frigidly cold, with temperatures of 10 –12 degrees C. Most attempts encounter swarms of deadly jellyfish.
Date: 14 July 2016. Distance: 35km Duration: 12 hours 13 minutes
The Catalina Channel
A swim between Catalina Island and Los Angeles, known for its strong currents and marine life.
Date: 7 November 2015. Distance: 35km Duration: 11 hours 52 minutes
The Strait of Gibraltar
An iconic swim between Europe (Tarifa, Spain) and Africa (somewhere on the Moroccan coast)
Date: 8 April 2015 Distance: 20km Duration: 4 hours 1minute
The English Channel
Between England and France. The swim is known for its cold water and variable conditions.
Date: 5 July 2012 Distance: 35km Duration: 16 hours 29 minutes