The Team

Founder – Sarah Ferguson

Sarah is a physiotherapist and runs a private practice in Durban North at a multi-disciplinary center. She is also a motivational speaker, Pilates instructor, retired National Swimmer and swim coach.

Sarah is passionate about the ocean and works tirelessly to safeguard it for future generations to enjoy and appreciate responsibly.

In 2011 Sarah took part in her first ocean race in Hawaii and it was here that she found her passion for open water swimming and made the decision to do something meaningful with her swimming talents. Since 2012 she has been competing in and pioneering ocean swims in and around South Africa and abroad to help raise awareness of single-use plastic pollution.

Breathe Ocean Conservation is her NPO, an organisation that aims to eliminate throw away plastic.

HER SWIMS
Elephant Coast Swim Series | July 2018 | 100km | 6 days
1st African woman to swim Ka’iwi Channel crossing | July 2017 | 58km | 17:54
1st person to swim Aliwal Shoal solo swim | May 2017 | 18km | 5:00
MAD swimmers 24hr swim | January 2016 | 45km | 24:00
Cape Point solo swim | December 2015 | 8km | 2:06
Robben Island solo swim | January 2015 | 7.3km | 2:02
1st woman to swim Umhlanga to Durban | June 2014 | 17.9km | 4:16

Sarah H is the quintessential water woman, always keen and approachable in sharing her wisdom of the ocean with anyone she meets along the way. She is brave. There is nothing she fears, both in and out the water. Her heart is gigantic and she will give her time and love to almost any human being or creature she encounters. Sarah H is an accomplished body border, qualified lifeguard and phenomenal swimming coach.

Sarah H’s role is officially ‘feeder’ for all the crazy swims that Sarah F embarks on.

When I first met Sarah H, I knew I had found a winner for a coach! I had been looking for someone local who would be able to coach and mentor me  in my upcoming training for the Ka’iwi channel. Sarah H jumped on board with both feet before she knew what she had got herself into and essentially the rest is history!

Sarah F & Sarah H have become close friends over the past 6 years, sharing life and journeying the highs and lows that come with marathon swim training. Sarah H has been a sounding board, a coach, feeder, and mentor and is now like family. She knows exactly what Sarah F needs before she asks and has the incredible ability to know how to lift her spirits when things get tough. She is an integral and essential member of Sarah F’s core support team.

John is a true water-man. His knowledge of ocean currents, swells and how they  work is remarkable.  He has three decades of experience surfing, exploring and adventuring oceans and chasing waves around the world. John surfs almost every day of his life and has recently he discovered free-diving which has opened up a whole new realm of the ocean to him. If he is not surfing, he will be free diving, swimming, running or doing yoga. John does not stop. He is the ultimate “energizer bunny”  His mind is always busy out the water and he is someone that without a doubt, you want on your team in the open ocean. His calm demeanour is a gift when faced with a potentially life threatening situation. His role in Sarah F’s team is safety officer and support kayak.

I first met John when he came to see me for an injury. We started chatting and as I learnt more about John and his understanding of the ocean and currents, I realised this was a guy I wanted on my team. All I knew about the ocean was that I loved swimming in it and it was unpredictable! John brought a whole new understanding of waves and using currents to our advantage in the water. His almost obsessive need to read and understand the ocean charts has allowed me to complete seemingly impossible swims in record times and make it look easy. He is  someone that I trust with my life and his role as Safety Officer is a responsibility that he takes on with both hands and excels at. We often tease him about his OCD tendencies but it is this attention to detail and constant checking and rechecking of ocean conditions that allows me to be a success on these swims.

I’m Wofty, from the green green grasslands of Southern Africa

Born and bred on a farm. No normal bio can explain who I am and where I have come from.

When asked what I do, people are surprised when I tell them I’m a creator. All I do every day is create something amazing I can share with the world.

I create by exploring and discovering the Wilderness that is available to us and capture these experiences to share them with the world through films and photographs.

Adventure Photographer, Filmmaker, Lover of Coffee and Campies.

This pretty much sums up wofty. I first met Wofty through a client who was helping me set up Breathe. He introduced me to Wofty as an up and coming adventure photographer. When I was looking for someone to document my swim trips, Wofty was the ideal guy. Young, enthusiastic and new to the industry it was a win win situation for both of us, giving Wofty a platform to play in and me a great team member who was keen, enthusiastic and not afraid to get stuck in and accept the challenge. It has been a joy watching Wofty live out his passion and do what he loves through his gifts, He has grown as a photographer in the short time I have known him and I am so stoked to have him as part of my team

Angelika is a semi-retired sports massage therapist with over 30 years of experience. No one has come close to her in terms of effective sports massage, in my experience. I met Angelika through her daughter Shana, owner of M.E.G

Angelika started out as a flight attendant for SAA and has travelled the world. When she had kids, she started doing sports massage and spent many hours traveling with sports teams as their massage therapist and chef. She is also an avid masters swimmer, having picked up the sport later in life and her commitment to training and being better is inspiring, Angelika started helping me in my preparation to Hawaii and in the recovery afterwards. When Sarah H broke her elbow a month before the Elephant Coast Swim, Angelika jumped in as chef and massage therapist. The 100km swim series would have been much less fun and a lot more painful without her healing hands and delicious homemade cooking! She is the prime example that age is just a number and it is never too late to try something new.

 

 

Paul, a qualified Chartered Accountant, is one of the directors adding to the financial and business functions of Breathe. Paul loves water, whether it be the ocean, a river or a dam……. but can’t stand pollution. This makes for a good fit with the team at Breathe to make this a successful and sustainable organisation.

 

 

Caron is a director of Breathe. She is a fellow ocean lover and tries her hand at anything water related from surfing, body surfing, ocean swimming and paddling.

She has successfully completed 3 Dusi canoe marathons and has been an invaluable member of Sarah F’s training team spending hours on a surfski during some of Sarah’s long training swims in preparation for Hawaii. She brings experience in the finance industry and helps keep Sarah F level headed when things get overwhelming!

Neil Vose 

 

Neil is relishing learning more about Ocean Conservation and helping raise exposure to the cause, since he first met Sarah after an unfortunate Achilles injury sustained in late 2015.  Living by the coast in Durban and having a family that adores the sea, Neil’s role is to use his business management experience to shape and support the operational structure of Breathe to ensure that we are a sound, sustainable organisation with a bright future.

 

Lindsay’s passion is contagious, She has a large network and was heavily invested in helping Sarah F with her fundraising prior to the Ka’iwi channel swim. She has experience in marketing, advertising and personal training and has just launched her own online business to help streamline administration systems for parents and schools.

Her vast networking skills are invaluable in creating awareness and her shameless punting for a zero waste lifestyle is a breath of fresh air. Her role is in service training for retailers as well as events and product development. To book an in service session with your staff contact Lindsay: lindsay@breatheconservation.org

Alan Edgar

 

 

I met Alan through his wife Charlotte. Charlotte is in the same swim squad as me and they came to listen to a talk we did shortly after the Ka’iwi channel crossing. Alan came to me afterwards and said he would like to help with the creative and marketing side of Breathe. He is the executive creative director for TBWA and it has been an eye opener for me to see the world of advertising from the other side!

Alan has helped me think outside the box, creatively and has been integral in helping raise my profile and connect me with sponsorship opportunities.

 

 

Kerryn is a mother of 2 young kids, dedicated to her work and keeps fit by swimming and running, She is my dietitian with a special interest in sports nutrition, paediatric nutrition and most recently DNA testing. She has been assisting me with my nutritional needs and plans since I started planning for the Ka’iwi channel crossing over 5 years ago.

She has helped make eating fun again and has been very real in adjusting my nutritional needs to my lifestyle and taste buds! She has helped me put on the necessary fat required for long endurance events whilst maintaining a healthy eating plan.

 

Kirsten is a Sports Psychologist with a PHD specialising in retirement in elite athletes in sport. She is an ex- South African Swimmer and has over 10 years experience dealing with athlete’s currently in sport and with athletes dealing with retirement. Kirsten was instrumental in helping to make the Ka’iwi channel swim a reality.

She has journeyed with me from when I retired from competitive swimming and helped me deal with depression post retiring. She has helped me setting and making new goals and dreams become a reality. She has empowered me with mental skills, the ability to cope with stress, pressure and a growing public profile and on top of all of that keeps me company in training most weeks

 

 

Lynne is a South African Masters surf champion and Biokineticist. She is the founder of Ocean Riders academy. She has been training me since 2012. She was instrumental in my pre and post rehabilitation of a meniscal knee injury I sustained during my travels in 2011. She has assisted me in staying injury free since my dream to swim the Ka’iwi channel became a reality. She has been a huge driving force in keeping my body strong and injury free. She motivates me and helps to push and challenge my body out of the water.

I first met Rentia when I started working at Kings Park. She encouraged me to get involved in paddling and I had the most incredible year trying and learning a new sport under her and her husband, Wayne’s guidance. We have been gym partners since those days. Rentia is the most hard core woman I know. She pushes me in every gym session and never complains when it is tough.

Rentia is a seasoned endurance athlete having competed(and excelled) in the Cape Epic, Dusi, iron, man, Comrades and many mountain bike races. She has recently become a Pilates instructor. To top it all off she is a Homeopath with a special interest in sports medicine and has been instrumental in diagnosing and treating me for illnesses that other doctors have missed. She supplies me with all my vitamins and any medication I may need and it is under her experienced guidance that I have managed to get to a point of health and fitness that I am in today, She has been instrumental in helping me taper my training program.

 

Brian has been my swimming coach since 1997 when I started competitive pool swimming again. He renewed my desire to compete and has been like a grandfather to me. Brian is in his 80’s and is still a full time coach. He is always motivating me and encouraging me to achieve my dreams.

When I  asked Brian to help me with a training program for the Ka’iwi channel swim, his only condition was weekly feedback phone calls from me. He never wavers in his support and belief in me achieving my dreams and goals. Even from another city he knows me well enough to know when to tell me to take it easy or to push a little harder.

He has decades of experience working with age group to masters, triathletes and channel swimmers and always makes me feel like I am his favourite one.