There is a month to go for swimmers who are entering the Steers Marina Mile which will be taking place at Marina Martinique on 23 December.

After the Redhouse River Mile, the local event is the second biggest open water swim in the Eastern Cape and is continuing to grow in popularity. A few years ago, the mile (1650m) was considered a long distance event and apart from the Midmar Mile, Redhouse and Marina miles, there were little opportunities for open water swimmers to ply their trade.

That all changed with the introduction of the 10 km swim at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and suddenly there has been a plethora of open water swim of varying distances taking place all over the world.

The Marina is a perfect venue for open water swims. Photo: Carl Newman

The Kouga Swim Club who have been organising the Marina Mile since 2002 has ensured that Jeffreys Bay has remained relevant with the introduction of the 3 km swim at the 2007 Marina Mile. This year has seen the Mile being upgraded to a full blown open water swim festival that will start on the 22 December with an arduous 25 Km swim in the canals of Marina Martinique. A 10 Km will start later in the day as well.

“We are not expecting a lot of entries for the 25 Km this year” said Brenton Williams, the coach of the Kouga Swim Club and organiser of the event. “2010 is about establishing the swim and the distance in the Eastern Cape. There is only one other 25 km that takes place in South Africa and that is the SA Champs that was held at Midmar Dam this year.

It is an extreme swim and not many people would be capable, both physically and mentally of completing the race. However, as the sport of open water swimming grows and develops, more and more swimmers will want to test the boundaries and push the limits so we want to be able to cater for the future in Jeffreys Bay.”

Open Water training and Learn 2 Swim lessons. Ph 083 549 6795

A 5 Km and a 3 Km will start the day on 23 December, followed by the 500m and the bank to bank swims. At 11 am the Women’s Mile will be swum, followed by the Men’s Mile and prize giving.

Only the first 100 entrants in the Steers Marina Mile will receive T shirts so make sure you enter online at www.marina-mile.co.za as soon as possible.

The Weekend Post Ocean racing Series will take place in Port Elizabeth again this Sunday. A 1 Km and a 3 Km swim will be on offer as well as a beach run. More information can be found at www.oceanracingseries.com.

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