Windy conditions and icy 11 degree Celsius water greeted some of South Africa’s most extreme swimmers, who gathered at Marina Martinique to take on the Cold Water Classic, which took place during the JBay Winterfest.
Seven swimmers, all adhering to Channel rules, which meant that they could only wear a speedo, goggles and a swim cap, started the 7.5 K swim – however only three managed to finish!
“It was cold out there but I settled down and actually enjoyed the chilly water said eventual winner Rebecca Newman, who completed her first cold water swim in just over two hours.
Newman has her sights on a Robben Island crossing and with the JBay Cold Water Classic in the bag; a successful crossing looms for Newman in the not too distant future.
Last year’s winner Kevin Grey seemed to get stronger as the swim developed and finished second in 2 hours 7 minutes.
Legendary Cape Town swimmer, Thedore Yach completed the swim in 2 hours 23 minutes.
“It was a great event and the water was a bit chilly at 11 C, with a stiff wind against us,” said Yach after his swim.
Under the watchful eye of Coastal Water Rescue, the tough conditions got the better of the other four starters in the 7.5 K, who all voluntarily withdrew from the race.
JC Van Wyk won the 2.5 K swim for the second year in a row, with Chris de Chaves taking second position.
12 year old Etienne Jordaan, the youngest swimmer on the day finished in third position.
Etienne took part in the Cold Water Classic last year and after succumbing to the cold water and having to withdraw, was determined to come back to Jeffreys Bay and complete the swim this year.
South Africa also has another open water butterfly swimmer, with Kyle Harris completing the 2.5K swim just using the butterfly stroke.
He swam the course with fellow flyer Brenton Williams, who was also the race director.
“We are happy to have established the Marina Martinique as a legitimate cold water swim venue and are stoked that swimmers from all over South Africa made the trip to Jeffreys Bay for the event,” said Williams.
The Cold Water Classic, presented by Nicholas Melck Properties formed part of the JBay WinterFest, a multi-sport festival that takes place every July in Jeffreys Bay.