Top swimmers expected at Marina Martinique champs
Top swimmers from all over the country are set to take part in the Swim SA-sanctioned Nelson Mandela Bay Open Water Swim Championships at Marina Martinique on Saturday.
One of SA’s top open-water swimmers, defending Marina Mile champion Hanre Louw, is expected to compete in the 10km race.
Amica de Jager, the Eastern Cape’s top 10km contender, will also be looking to impress in her first competitive swim of 2021 at the distance.
It has been a tough year for open-water swimmers with beaches being closed and events being severely affected by Covid-19 regulations, but the Kouga municipality, NMB Aquatics, Swim SA and Zsports have all been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that events can once again take place at the marina.
The enclosed canals at Marina Martinique, fresh seawater which is quality tested regularly, and the lack of wildlife mean that swimmers can enjoy the event and concentrate on recording fast times.
The event this weekend is a qualifier for the SA Open Water Swim Champs, which will also take place in Jeffreys Bay in the middle of March.
It will be an official qualifier for the 2021 Olympic Games 10km marathon swim.
Due to Covid-19 regulations, no spectators will be allowed at this weekend’s event and only 100 swimmers and officials will be allowed at the venue.
Kouga mayor Horatio Hendricks welcomed the event, saying it was a positive sign for tourism in Jeffreys Bay and the wider Kouga region.
“Before Covid-19, we had positioned Kouga to be the events capital of SA, with open-water swimming being a big contributor to events tourism,” he said.
“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 events back to Kouga.”
Registration for the event starts at 8am and the 10km, 7.5km and 5km swims start at 9am.
They are followed by the 1km swim at 9.05am.
The men’s 3km event begins at 11am and the women’s 3km at 11.05am.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.