This afternoon will see the start of a very busy month of open water swimming in the Eastern Cape with the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics 10km and 3km Open Water Swimming (OWS) Championships taking place at Marina Martinique from 1pm.
One of the last opportunities for swimmers from around the country to qualify for the South African OWS Championships at the same venue next month, local organisers Zsports Events NPC are predicting a busy weekend of swimming at a venue which is arguably one of the best open water swimming sites in the country.
“February is certainly the busiest swimming month in Jeffreys Bay and Port Elizabeth,” says local water sports organiser Michael Zoetmulder.
“This weekend we come to the finale of The Swim Series for the 2017/18 season with the hosting of the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics Championships, followed next Sunday with the 8th round of the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series and then the following Sunday, the 18th February, we host the 94th River Mile at Sundays River.”
The Marina Martinique swims, which are open to all swimmers, will include Saturday’s 10km and 3km Championship swims and on Sunday morning starting at 9am there will be the 5km Championship swim, together with a usual Swim Series 3km, 1km and 550m swim races.
The repeat of the 3km swim is to afford swimmers the opportunity to attain or improve on their Swimming SA qualifying times.
The most popular event over the weekend should prove to be the 5km Championship swim with former SA School’s Swimming Captain Ian Venter of Aquabear the favourite in the 5km event alongside Amica de Jager of the Liquid Lines swim club in Cape St Francis who trains with legendary open water swimmer Hadyn Holmes.
Both Venter and de Jager are the defending NMBA 5km Champions, the defending River Mile champions and have excelled in the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series this season showing that they are in great form again this season.
De Jager will be contesting the 10km Championship race on the Saturday so this could give local swimmers like Jessica Booth and Hannah Counihan an opportunity to take advantage and try and snatch the 5km title from her.
Online registration for the event is highly recommended as late entries on the weekend do come with a R50 late entry penalty. See www.zsports.co.za for further information