New champions were crowned at the 95th running of the Nelson Mandela Bay River Mile held at Sundays River on Sunday morning with 17-year-old Pearson scholar, Slater Black, and 16-year-old Collegiate scholar, Jessica Booth, coming out tops in the feature Mile events.
For Black, who had rushed back from a water polo tournament in East London, it was a particularly significant win with mom, Joannie Coetzer, a former double River Mile champion having last won the race 23 years ago.
With a tough start for the swimmers in the pushing tide it was a tussle for the front runners all the way and only as they hit the riverbank at the finish line did Black take the advantage with a quick up and run across the line.
Just under 1 000 participants enjoyed the great weather at Colchester in another action packed event hosted by local non-profit events company, Zsports Events NPC on behalf of Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics and hosted by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality with representatives of SRAC handing out the trophies to all the winners.
Young up and coming Jessica Booth tops off a great season thus far with her maiden River Mile win, coming out the water on Sunday ahead of Hannah Counihan and Lize Muller, and ensuring her club, Infinity, retained the club trophy.
After having lost out in the last 5 years, PEA were back in winning form in the Men’s race.
The youngest swimmers in the Mile this year were Chase Jopson (6 years old) and Jenna Thorton (7 years) whilst the oldest being Mally Richards (86) and Margaret Skinner (74).
Age also favoured the Blu_Smooth wetsuit Mile participants with Mark Edge showing his decades of experience to win ahead of Rob Smith and Craig Black whilst Rhiannon Farrell won the ladies wetsuit Mile from Catherine Stark and Melanie Darlow.
Disabled athletes Charl Parkin and Lesley Lee successfully defended their titles in the Oracle Media Disabled Mile.
This year’s new initiative of a R10 000 prize for the school with the most entries saw Collegiate Girls Junior School winning with just 1 entrant more than Herbert Hurd and 6 more than Clarendon Park Primary.
Results are available on the River Mile website and the event will feature on Super Sport Showcase next month. Hundreds of pictures, courtesy of Oracle Media, are available for download on the River Mile facebook page.
The next open water swim event that will take place in the region is the South African Open Water Swim Champs that will take place in Jeffreys Bay on 2/3 March at Marina Martinique.