Photo: Phil Dempster, Ant Pearse and Hannah Pearse from Vineyard Swimming Club
Venue: Marina Martinique in Jeffery’s Bay, 3rd and 4th March
Exciting racing predicted in 3km events
With four days to go until the 2018 South African National Open Water Swimming Championships scheduled for the picturesque Marina Martinique in Jeffery’s Bay on 3rd and 4th March, excitement is mounting in what is sure to be a highly successful event.
The 3km Event
The 3km event was introduced into the competition program in 2005 to provide a national open water swimming competition for the age group swimmers and is contested on an age group basis. With South African Masters Swimming not hosting an open water swimming competition in 2005, age group categories for Masters swimmers were also included.
The 3km event has proved highly popular amongst domestic open water swimming event organizers as it appeals to the triathlon community as well, thereby increasing entries significantly. The 3km event is still regarded by Swimming South Africa as their “gateway” event for emerging participants of the discipline, similar to the Australian model which has a 2.5km event as their “gateway” event.
Masters – Men and Women
Masters participation at this event could perhaps become a thing of the past as the South African Masters (SAMS) have hosted their own successful championships since 2008.
That having been said, there are some exceptional masters athletes that will lock horns with South Africa’s emerging talent this weekend. The evergreen Gary Albertyn heads the list and is an athlete that despite being at the age of 49 certainly is prepared to challenge the youngsters at every opportunity that he gets. Many will be hard pressed to challenge Albertyn for the 41-50 age group, or even the overall title. Other masters swimmers to keep an eye on will be Albie van Ort, Coulthard Ford, Adrian Goate and local favourite PJ Duffy.
On the ladies side Megan Albertyn stands head and shoulder above her masters competitors and given her recent form, the other competitors will be hard pressed to wrest the title from her. Denise Bosman has had some exceptional performances this past season in the Eastern Cape Swim Series and should not be underestimated, while Taryn Osborne and Michelle Esterhuizen cannot been discounted having recorded some impressive times at altitude.
Local lad Ian Venter has shown his prowess as an out and out sprinter in open water swimming and along with the promising trio of Flippie van der Spuy, Cole Craig and Connor Buck the spectators will be in for some exciting racing amongst the youngsters.
Nadia Blaauw has emerged as a highly promising exponent of open water swimming as she heads the seeding in the woman’s 3km event. Blaauw must expect some serious attention from the likes of Jessica Canter, Jess Booth, Paige Black and Jessica Smit while Tasneen Ebrahim and Chloe le Roux can never be discounted.
With 93 male entries and 87 female entries the 3km races at the 2018 South African National Open Water Swimming Championships, the competitors will certainly provide some exciting close quarter racing which is sure to test all participants mental toughness and tactical nuance.
Spectators can expect to witness some scintillating racing at Marina Martinique in Jeffery’s Bay this weekend.
Source: ZwemZa, JBay News