Marina Martinique will once again be the venue for the Nelson Mandela Bay Open Water Swim Championship as swimmers from all over the country dust off their goggles to participate in the Swim South Africa sanctioned event.
Its been a tough year for open water swimmers with beaches being closed and events being severely impacted by Covid regulations.
However, Kouga Municipality, NMB Aquatics, Swim SA and Zsport have all been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that open water swim events can once again take place at Marina Martinique, regarded as the open water swim capital of Africa.
The enclosed canals at Marina Martinique, fresh sea water which is quality tested on a regular basis, and the lack of wildlife means that swimmers can enjoy the event and concentrate on swimming fast times.
The NMB Aquatics Champs this weekend is a qualifier for the South African Open Water Swim Champs which will also be taking place in Jeffreys Bay in mid March.
The SA Champs will be an official qualifier for the 2021 Olympic Games 10 km marathon swim.
Due to Covid regulations, no spectators will be allowed at the event this weekend and only 100 swimmers and officials will be allowed at the venue.
Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks has welcomed the event and said it was a positive sign for tourism in Jeffreys Bay and the wider Kouga region.
“Prior to Covid-19, we had positioned Kouga to be the events capital of South Africa with open water swimming being a big contributor to events tourism.
“Eight open water swim events were taking place every season at Marina Martinique, including the SA Champs which have been held every year in Jeffreys Bay since 2017.
It is pleasing to see open water swimming leading the way in bringing provincial and national level events back to Kouga,” said Hendricks.
Registration for the event starts at 8 am and the 10km, 7,5 km and the 5 km swims start at 9 am.
This is followed by the 1 km at 9.05 am, while the men’s 3 km begins at 11 am and the women’s 3 km at 11.05 am.
Photo: Joey Nel