The open water swim season in the Eastern Cape got off to a flying start at Marina Martinique this month when no less than 19 swimmers posting South African national qualifying times.

Springbok open water star Jessica Roux led the charge by swimming under 63 minutes in the jbaynews.com 5 Km swim. Up and coming girl swimmers Lise-Mari Goosen and Chrislie Niehaus also swam 5 Km qualifying times.

Defending Marina Mile Champion Chris Van Der Sande continued his winning ways in the jbaynews.com 5 Km, followed by Michael Marais, Jonathan Roux, and newcomer to open water Hanre Barnard all of whom also posted early season qualifying times.

Despite the cold conditions, 19 swimmers recorded national qualifying times at Marina Martinique

In the Cirrus 3 Km event medal winner at this year’s SA Champs Wayne Jones got off to a good start and recorded a qualifying time as did younger brother Daniel.

In the Masters section, Medal winners at SA Champs. JC Van Wyk and Brenton Williams also got early season national qualifying times asd did Sanmari Woithe, Russel Tucker, Richden Jute and Denise Bosman. Ralph West who has just got back into the water following a shoulder injury was just outside the 53 minute barrier.

The next open water swim is the Gamtoos River Mile which takes place at the Ferry Hotel on Sunday. Online entries can be completed at www.xt-festival.co.za

The Kouga Swim Club will be holding training swims every Friday afternoon at Marina Martinique. These sessions are open to non Club members. The 4 Pm session, which takes place at the LaCaribe flats will focus on technique and basic fitness while the 5 Pm session will be in the form of a long swim through the canals.

Costs are R 50 per session and swimmers doing the 4 Pm session may stay for the 5 Pm at no additional cost. Email kougaswim@vodamail.co.za for more information.

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