Miss Sayali Pendharkar ('92) became the only 2nd Indian/Asian to swim across Robben Island to Three Anchor Bay in 3 hrs 14 min. on 27th Jan. 2010. A 17 years 5 months Girl from Pune (Maharashtra) jumped in the chilly water of 14 C in the Atlantic Ocean at 7.56 am from Robben Island and touched the white sand at Three Anchor Bay at 11.10 am. It was her 35th successful Open Water Swimming Event/Race so far done in India or abroad.
The weather was perfect no wind or hot sun. The sea was calm with no big waves “There was no ripple on the water..” said legendary Mr. Peter Bales, President, C.L.D.S.A. “.. Sayali is in great shape and she wasn’t ready to faint during her entire swim” he added in appreciation to Sayali.
“It is a sigh of relief’ mentioned Sayali after her event “Its because the event got postponed 3 times and it is difficult to wait than swim”. And it is true as although we arranged it 3 times; the weather had another plans. Even during the early morning on day of her event, there was cold breeze, a drizzle, sky was cloudy and looking storm like conditions. But apparently it got cleared by the time we reach to Oceana Motor Boat Club. However, we were still not sure to which direction she should head… whether Blouberg or Three Anchor Bay. Then looking at the changed & ideal conditions, Mr. Tony Sellmeyer and Mr. Peter Bales encouraged her to go for the long one and Sayali took all the advantage of the nature and lived up to her dreams that she set in her come-back bid. A proud mother Chitra recalled her memories saying “Her training back in India and at Clifton 4th was awesome and that made her tough and so event went on smoothly” Sayali, a 2nd year student of engineering has been practicing 4 hrs a day plus strength training exercises back home. Mrs. Herda Silverman, a well know & ever charged up swimmer from Cape Town was on the Bay to receive and greet Sayali.
I personally wanted Sayali to go for long one as I already have ‘Youngest Boy’ in Asia and ‘Youngest Girl’ in the world who have done Blouberg in last 2 years.
A very introvert Sayali has never shown any aggression in her training or during events. She hardly expresses a word about her dreams and goals. But her greatness is derived from her calmness. A shy, not talkative Sayali can cultivate her solitude into study, continuous action for longer duration by not getting anxious and that makes her one of the most successful marathon swimmer in India. Some thinks that she is not confident about her performance but nobody knows what lies beneath of her heart.
Swimming Coach, India