Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay has hosted open water swim events since the early 1990’s. The vision of the Buchner family who developed the canals was to create a water sports Mecca in the Eastern Cape.
Kouga Swim Club coach and open water swimmer, Brenton Williams was one of the first locals to start swimming in the canals and in 2002 he resurrected the Marina Mile.
Fellow swim coach David Glover won that Mile and Eastern Cape swimmers have dominated the event ever since. Notable winners have been Byron Lockett, Matthew Van Der Berg and Michael Marais, the defending champion.
The former queen of South African open water swimming Velia Janse Van Rensberg was a multiple winner of the Women’s Mile with heir apparent Jessica Roux the reigning champion.
The Mile has grown into a multiple swim extravaganza with 2010 being the biggest year ever as the event stretches into two days. 22 Dec will see South Africa’s hard core open water swimmers tackle a 25 K in the canals with a 10 K “sprint” event taking place later in the day.
The following day will see a 5 K and a 3K take to the water, with the traditional bank to bank and 500m swims taking place before the Women’s and Men’s Steers Marina Mile hit the water. Steers Jeffreys Bay is the title sponsor of the Mile with Steers owner Breyten De Beer being a keen open water swimmer himself.
Breyten, who got married on Saturday and will be going to America on honeymoon shortly is actively involved in the Jeffreys Bay community. Deboiners recently sponsored the 2010 Xcel Pro at Supertubes in additon to the Steers sponsorship of the Marina Mile.