Wild Swimmer Marcelle Webber

World ice swimming gold medalist joins The Wild Swim

The trajectory from the competitive pool arena to extreme ice swimming and marathon charity events, came like a thief in the night, to Marcelle Webber aka Splash, as she was dubbed in the press during her early years of competitive swimming.

She was awarded her Springbok colours in 1984 and then took up a four year swimming scholarship at the University of  Knoxville, Tennessee, where she studied psychology and sociology.


Then came an enticer in 2017, which changed her life. It’s name: COLD WATER, like seriously cold water – literally icy stuff  in fact.

It all began after Marcelle cut her teeth on a Robben Island Crossing that year. Then came the real deal of swimming in Arctic Waters.

Marcelle represented South Africa at the recent World Ice Swimming Championships held in Murmansk, Russia, returning with three gold medals and a silver.

While many mortals would consider the experience of immersing oneself in waters at zero degree temperature as seeking a near-death experience, Marcelle views it as a natural high – “a cocktail of dopamine, endorphins and seratonin, an antidote for the distracted mind, body and soul.”

Charity swims  

Marcelle joined Madswimmer last year in support of various children’s charities. She completed the 34km Orange River swim and a 21km uncharted  island swim in Tanzania alongside 30 other swimmers who collectively raised R140,000. She also became an 8 Mile Club member in 2018, swimming all eight Aquellé Midmar Mile events raising funds for the WildTrust.

After frolicking with frozen friends  in the Arctic Circle, she is looking forward to taking part in The Wild Swim alongside another ice swimming addict, Mervyn Bremner.

“The ocean is my playground and I am a fierce guardian of her ensuring she is kept pristine and glorious for the generations to come,” says Marcelle.

The Wild Swim

The Wild Swim takes place from April 26 to May 2 along a 22 km stretch of the Wild Coast earmarked for heavy minerals mining.  The adventure swim has been organised by the 8 Mile Club in association with Roving Reporters and the Kydrin Foundation to raise R250,000 for eco-tourism in the area, marine conservation and associated environmental journalism training.

To help The Wild Swimmers reach this target DONATE HERE.

A growing number of organisations are supporting the fundraising drive. Click here to see who they are.

Other businesses, groups of friends and clubs can also create a fundraising page in support of The Wild Swim by clicking here >> Start Fundraising.