The open swim season kicked off to a cold start on Sunday at Marina Martinique as the first event of the EPA Swim Challenge Series took place in 18 degree water. Just under 50 swimmers were brave enough to tackle the winter weather conditions as well as the cold water.
The lack of serious winter training didn’t deter the J’Bay swimmers from winning no less than 4 gold medals in various events ranging from the 500m swim to the more arduous 5 Km event.
JC Van Wyk the reigning SA Champ had a great start to the season by winning the Cirrus 3K event in the over 40 age group. Local swim coach and silver medal winner at SA Champs Brenton Williams claimed the silver medal and went on to win the gold in the 5 K swim.
Pieter Ellis then narrowly beat older brother Danie in a tussle for the finish to win the 500 M swim. Another Kouga Swim Club member Lodewyk Van Biljon swam to a 3rd place for a clean sweep for Kouga in the boys event.
Swimming their first ever 500m event, Wilmien Van Biljon took second place while Michelle Strydom came third, narrowly beating Sone Koen into 4th place. Seth De Swart won the 4th gold medal in the 1 Km swim in his age group and came second overall in the event.
Kouga Swim Club members Cheryl Gibson and Lydia Agenbach came 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 1 K event in the over 40 division to end off a great day for the Jeffreys Bay swimmers.
Winner of the 5Km at the recent All Africa Games and defending Mile winner Jessica Roux won the women’s 5 Km. “I was very happy with my time and felt strong in the race despite the cold and wind, said Jess after the race. I will probably do the the 10k at the next race to see where I am time wise in the event”.
Brenton Williams from the Kouga Swim Club said that the local swimmers had excelled as the Club had yet to commence with open water training. “This has been an early start to the season and we will only be starting with open water swim training on Friday afternoon”, said Williams. “We did have several winter training sessions and it was good to see the kids that attended the training do well in the races”.
Full results can be found at Kouga Swim Club
The next open water event is the inaugural Gamtoos River Mile which will be held next weekend at the Gamtoos Ferry Hotel.
Entries are already open for the Steers Marina Mile which will be held on 23 December at the La Caribe flats at Marina Martinique. Only the first 100 entrants will receive the coveted T-shirt, so get your entry in early to avoid disappointment. Register online at Marina Mile