The 13th Season of the popular aQuellé Ocean Racing Series came to an end on Sunday morning bring the total number of entries this season to 3,857. The Series, which is unique to Nelson Mandela Bay, consisted of 11 race days taking place on mostly alternate Sunday mornings between October 2017 and April 2018.
“We had a tremendously successful season with the most consistent beach weather we’ve ever had.” said Race Director Michael Zoetmulder of local non-profit sports events company Zsports. “Having started the Series in January 2006, we could not have imagined that 13 seasons later this event would have attracted some 51,568 people to Hobie Beach to witness and enjoy our magnificent beach front.”
On Monday evening the Series winners were honoured an a function at News Cafe, Boardwalk with the overall and the age group winners being recognised. Special mention was given to the phenomenal achievements of overall 3km ocean swim winner, Bruce Campbell, who had a fantastic season despite suffering from a rare degenerative illness called Pompe disease as well as Ian Venter, a youngster who 11 years ago started his swimming career at the Ocean Racing Series as an eight year old and on Sunday swam his last competitive Ocean Racing Series race before heading off to America on a swimming scholarship. Venter won the overall 1km Ocean Swim title for the 3rd year.
“The variety of the events and the family friendly vibe on race day is really starting to pay off and this season the 1km Ocean Swim was the most popular with 978 entries followed by the Kids 1km Beach Run with 756 entries and the 2km Ocean Swim the 3rd most popular with 726 entries. Increasing in popularity is the 400m Ocean Swim which this season attracted 390 entries.” added Zoetmulder.
Grobbie Grobler and Tarryn Ferreira received the News Cafe floating trophies for being champions in the 5km Beach Walk with Mile Vermaak and Juan Slabbert receiving the silvers medals and mother and son pairing of Sarah and Daniel Gibson the bronze medals. In the 5km Beach Run the Puma floating trophies went to Lea de Villiers and Masixole Sophangiso with Tara Sacke and Jayson Archibald collecting the silver medals and Kerri-Lea Barnard and Mzwakhe Madoyizana the bronze medals.
The 400m Ocean Swim Zsports floating trophies were awarded to Aminah Lindoor and Connor Craig with Christel Koen and Daniel Richter getting silver and Tayla Wilson and Craig Wilson taking the bronze medals whilst in the 1km Ocean Swim 3 times winner Venter was joined on the podium by Amica De Jager with Hannah Counihan and Cole Craig runner’s up and last year’s 400m champion, Tiara Finnis, and Kyle White taking the bronze. The 2km Ocean Swim Autotrust floating trophies were won by Paige Black and Keegan Cooke with Denise Bosman and Jarryd Cooke taking the silver and Tracy Judd and Ronald Scheffer the bronze. Campbell took the overall 3km win with Chane de Jager who was the 2km Series champion last year whilst Natalie Hagendorf-Hansen and Heinrich Vorster were runners up with Susan Derbyshire and Nick Mowbray bronze medalist.
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