A beautiful day greeting both swimmers and runners who took part in the inaugural Zports XT Festival on Sunday at the Ferry Hotel on the Gamtoos River.

Athletes from Jeffreys Bay excelled in both the runs and the swims in an event that will certainly become part of the annual open water swim calendar in years to come.

“Sunday’s inaugural Zports XT Festival was a massive success and bodes exceptionally well for the future. Over 160 participants took part in the events on the weekend and next year we hope to grow this event through support from local sponsors and a wider range of cross-terrain events,” said event organiser Mike Zoetmulder.

Enter now for the Marina Mile

Despite the hot conditions, Kobus Joubert from Jeffreys Bay set a cracking pace to win the 15 Km run in the men’s division while Nadia Kock, also from J’Bay won the women’s event. CJ Landman continued the Jeffreys Bay domination of the land events by winning the 5 Km run.

The 75 m swim was up next and Lodewyk Van Biljon who trains with the Kouga Swim Club sprinted to victory while Michelle Strydom and Wilmien Van Biljon took 2nd and 3rd in the girls race.

“I have been working on my sprints at training this winter and I really enjoyed the swim,” said Lodewyk upon winning the race. “My next race will be the 500m at Marina Martinique next weekend”.

Lodewyk Van Biljon after winning the 75 m dash at the Gamtoos River Mile. Photo: Kouga Swim Club

The scotching heat ensured that the action in the water was going to be hot when the winner of the African Games open water swim, Jessica who is determined to remain unbeaten over all distances in open water swim this season and Chris van der Sande, the top men’s open water swimmer in the Eastern Province got ready to swim.

“The Mile is basically a sprint event and there is no time to settle into a rhythm”, explained Jessica before the swim. “In some ways it’s harder than a 5 Km or a 10 Km race because it is a short race. You just have to put your head down and sprint”.
Roux did exactly that to win the Women’s Mile from rising star Jamie- Lee Schlemmer. Caro de Jager from Jeffreys Bay won the U/13 category in her first open water swim of the season.

The start of the 2010 Gamtoos River Mile. Photo: Kouga Swim Club

Chris van der Sande, the reigning Marina Mile champion, took the Men’s Mile from Michael Marais. Pieter Ellis (9 yrs old) who won the 500m at the Marina Martinique in the first swim of the season won the U/13 Mile in a fine effort. He beat Kendal Wright and older brother Danie, making it a clean sweep for the local swimmers.

Richden Jute won the O/40 division from local swimmers JC Van Wyk and Brenton Williams in the competitive master’s division.

The next mile event will be the Steers Marina Mile which will take place in Marina Martinique on 23 December. Entries have opened and only the first 100 entrants will receive T-shirts. Enter online at Steers Marina Mile

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