The Marina Mile, which has become Jeffreys Bay’s premier lifestyle event, was held in perfect conditions at the Marina Martinique yesterday.
Hot weather and 25 degree water ensured that the 09 Marina Martinique Mile will be remembered as a classic. Over 200 swimmers entered the various races.
Over 200 participants took to the water in a variety of open water swim events that catered for the entire family. 25 degree water and a hot sunny day greeted the swimmers and spectators alike.
For the first time in the history of the Marina Mile, a 5 K beach run was added to the programme. 25 runners hit the beach for the fun run and this event is sure to grow in years to come.
The first swim of the day was the grueling 3 K swim which was eventually won by up and coming open water swimmer Chris Van der Sande from Port Elizabeth. Van der Sande who trains with the Karoly Swim Club dominated the race and won by 3 minutes from Gavin Van Antwerpen who finished in 2nd place. Iron man competitor Lawrence van Lingin came third.
Chris van der Sande the winner of the 3 k and Marina Mile 09
Jessica Roux continued her domination of open water swimming in the Eastern Province and won the women’s swim from Rebecca Newman and Jamie-Lee Schlemmer.
Corney Van Der Ryst who was the first swimmer to finish from Jeffreys Bay finished 9th overall. Kouga Swim Club coach Brenton Williams came 3rd in the over 40 men’s category. Seth De Swart (10 yrs), also from Jeffreys Bay was the youngest swimmer to complete the 3 K swim.
The bank to bank swim was the next event to take place. This swim is designed to encourage young swimmers to start competing in open water swim events. The nerves were evident amongst the swimmers at the start but everyone managed to finish the swim. Special mention must be made of Richard Janse Van Rensburg, who only 3 weeks after learning to swim with the Kouga Swim Club, managed to complete the bank to bank, with much support from the spectators. His little sister Abigail swam with him in her flotation vest and is determined to finish the bank to bank unaided next year.
The 500m swim attracted 36 competitors. Lara Odendaal, who trained the previous day with the Kouga Swim Club in the canals, won the event from Emily Erasmus. Seth De Swart, despite having just completed the 3 K swim, won the boy’s race from Daniel Boshoff.
The action in the water became hotter as the women’s mile swimmers came under starter’s orders. Jessica Roux dominated the mile from start to finish and did the double by winning the 3 K and the Mile from Carmel Billson who came second.
47 women completed the Mile, with Anne de Swart from Jeffreys Bay coming 2nd in the 40 & over category. Jane Geldenhuys (82 yrs) was the oldest competitor on the day and completed the mile in just over an hour. Jane trains regularly with the Kouga Swim Club and still competes at the SA Masters Swim Nationals every year.
Jane Geldenhuys at the finish of the 09 Marina Mile. Mickey Bennet is the lifeguard
Chris Van Der Sande won the Men’s Mile from Keith Jansen, from Jeffreys Bay. Van Der Sande completed the double by winning both the 3 K and the Mile.
Pete King (49 yrs) from St Francis Bay had a great swim and finished 12th overall out of 70 finishers in the Mile. He won the 40 & over category in style. Brenton Williams came 3rd in the over 40 division and medaled in both the 3 K and the Mile. Dylan Lighfoot from Jeffreys Bay had a fine swim as well, beating Brenton in a bet that, according to rumour, won him a substantial amount of money!
Lightfoot said after the race that it was a tough swim but that open water swimming is great cross training for surfing. Dylan is a junior Springbok surfer and will be seen more often in open water swim action.
Pieter Ellis (8 yrs) from Jeffreys Bay was the youngest swimmer to complete the Mile and finished in 32 minutes. Mally Richards (77yrs), the legendary open water swimmer from Jeffreys Bay also completed the Mile.
Negotiations are in an advanced stage with a major sponsor for the 2010 Marina Martinique Mile. The Kouga Swim Club wishes to thank the Kouga Express newspaper for the media sponsorship, Dolphin Bay Properties for the medals, EP Aquatics for providing officials for the event as well as all the product sponsors of the 09 Marina Mile.
Full results can be found here