Nidhi Ramesh Shelar, age 12, successfully swam 7.8K across Robben Island to Big Bay in Blouberg, South Africa on February 20th. Nidhi completed her cold-water swim (13-14°C (55-57°F)his distance in 2 hours and 32 minutes against an heavy wind, especially over the last kilometer.
Towards the end, the surface chop and waves caused her to swim parallel to shore to avoid rocks, but she was able to swim with a pair of seals and a few penguins along the way. Her mother, coach Jitendra Khasnis, Peter Bales, chairma of the Cape Long Distance Swimming Association and Andrew Chin were members of her support crew.
A week later, Nidhi placed second in the 2.2K Around the Rocks Challenge. Previously, Nidhi became one of the youngest swimmers in India to swim 81K Bhagirathi Race in West Bengal, India.