The increasingly popular sport of open water swimming will receive another boost when the inaugural Eastern Province Open Water Swim Championship will be held in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday and Sunday (30/31 January).
This is the first time a championship of this nature will be held in the province and swimmers from the Border region will also be in action, pitting their skills against the likes of EP open water swim queen Jessica Roux and up and coming male swimmer Chris Van der Sande. EP Aquatics , the controlling body for the sport in the Eastern Province will be supplying officials for the event which is hosted by the Kouga Swim Club and managed by Zports.
The 10 K and 5 K swims will be held on Saturday afternoon at Marina Martinique while the 3 K, 1K, 500 M, bank to bank swim and the 5 K beach run all taking place on the Sunday.
According to event organizer, Brenton Williams there are only two events left for swimmers to qualify for the South African National Championships that will be held in Durban during April. “A number of Eastern Province swimmers have already qualified for the National Champs across all the various age groups and there are some swimmers who will be entering this weekend with the purpose of swimming qualifying times, especially in the 3 K event which should ensure some fast swimming”, said Williams. “Hosting the EP Champs is a major step forward in establishing Jeffreys Bay as a world class open water swim venue and will further expose Marina Martinique as the undiscovered gem in open water swim circles”.
The accurate times recorded at Marina Martinique since 2002 when the Kouga Swim Club started hosting open water swims are one of the reasons why Jeffreys Bay is gaining a reputation as being a top class swim destination. The canals are very safe and protected and are spectator friendly as well, which means that it would be difficult to find a better venue anywhere else in South Africa for the new aquatic sport of open water swimming, added Williams.
The full schedule of events for the EP Open Water Swim Champs can be found here : Eastern Province Open Water Swimming Championships
Entries for all the races will close ½ hour before the start of the race. Online entries are encouraged and can be completed on www.ecswim.co.za
Cold and blustery conditions greeted the committed Axxess DSL Ocean Racing Series competitors in Port Elizabeth on Sunday. The heavy chop did not deter the swimmers with Chris Van Der Sande extending his dominance of the 1 k swim while Jessica Roux remained unbeaten in the 3 K women’s event. Wayne Jones had a great swim to edge out Michael Marais in the men’s 3 K swim.