Jean Craven and Tim Ziehl are not your average swimmers. Like Nemo’s dad, these skilled water-lovers decided to use their aquatic abilities for good and, in 2009, set up a charity called ‘Jean and Tim Swim.’ Little did they know that this simple step (or initial plunge) would become madswimmer.com.
Madswimmer is an initiative that stems from two men’s love of endurance swimming and an overwhelming desire to help others. The pair’s first charity swim in 2009 was from Europe to Africa. This journey took the swimmers across the Straits of Gibraltar and totalled a mammoth 17 km.
In 2010 Jean, along with newcomers Evan Feldman and Colin Franks, swam the 12 km’s from Asia to Europe- a route that took them through sections of The Black Sea and the Bosporus Strait.
The most recent swim, in 2011, saw the swimmers competing a 23.3 km journey from Papua New Guinea to West Papua. Added to the usual sea dangers encountered on these routes, the guys also had to keep an eye out for cannibals, salt water crocodiles and the occasional hungry shark!
But each swim is not just an act of impressive sporting madness and/or endurance; every one is a fundraising event for the orphans and underprivileged children of South Africa.