Swimmers brave the icy water at Marina Martinique



Swimmers from Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth completed training swims in 13 – 14 degree water in Jeffreys Bay over the weekend. The training swim was hosted by the Kouga Swim Club at the Marina Martinique in preparation for the upcoming open water swim season.

First up to swim in the extremely cold water were the younger athletes from the Kouga Swim Club. Sune Koen was the only girl amongst the boys but held her own in the icy canals. “I love my swim training and this is the first time our coach Brenton Williams made me join an open water training session, “said Sune. “Even though it was cold, I enjoyed it and will be swimming the 1 K swims in the summer”.

Getting ready for the plunge into the cold water were: Sune Koen, Junior Ellis,Pieter Ellis,Garryd Chamberlain and Aiden Chamberlain

It took a bit of coaxing to get the young swimmers into the water. At around 13.5 degrees the water was cold but swimmable.

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Take your Marks......Go......Junior Ellis getting some help to start his swim training session at Marina Martinique

Aiden Chamberlain, a staunch Bafana Bafana fan was cold but stoked with his medal

The youngsters had a bit of fun diving off the jetties and off the boat before putting their heads down for a 500 m swim at the end of the training session. Aiden Chamberlain who was also taking part in his first open water session said he got very cold and thought he was freezing to death at one stage. “It was hard trying to breathe but I managed to finish the training session and earn my medal”, said a proud Aiden afterwards.

Elke Walter and Isabeau Joubert from Jeffreys Bay did the swim in the old school manner.

Some of the swimmers used the training swim as a way of getting their bodies used to cold water in preparation to take part in the Robben Island to Cape Town swim in May 2011. Russel Tucker who has completed the 7.6 K Swim which is known as the Freedom Swim twice already said the water wasn’t far off the temperature one experiences in the Freedom Swim.

Local swim coach Brenton Williams opted to swim without a wetsuit to gauge how he would react to the cold water. “It was very hard for the first 400m but after that my breathing was under control and I could start working on rhythm,” said Brenton. “For a South African swimmer right now, the Freedom Swim offers probably the hardest challenge with the cold water, the currents and the wildlife and due the iconic nature of the swim it is attracting attention from the open water swim community both locally and internationally”.

Look across the island into the bay.....till comes the day we cross the burning water....Johnny Clegg

Weather permitting the Kouga Swim Club will be holding regular training sessions on Saturday mornings at Marina Martinique. Swimmers may wear wetsuits and flippers and more information can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

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