All the beach action this weekend will be at Hobie Beach for the 7th round of the popular aQuellé Ocean Racing Series, Africa’s largest family beach event which is unique to Nelson Mandela Bay.
Despite a bulk of the swim participants expected to be in East London for the 70.3 Ironman, organisers are gearing themselves up for another action packed morning due to the increasing number of social participants that are drawn to the Series. Particularly popular at the event is the kids 12 years and under 1km beach run/walk which includes children as young as 1 year.
With 5 rounds still remaining in the Series for this season, the overall standings are starting to take shape. World champion surf lifesaver, Chane De Jager of St Francis Bay is a clear leader in the 3km Ocean Swim for the ladies whilst top PE open water swimmer Heinrich Vorster leads the Men’s 3km standings from Bruce Campbell and Eben Haarhoff. Antonella Saporta and Keegan Cooke lead the 2km swim standings whilst Hannah Counihan and Cole Craig are leading the 1km Ocean Swim category.
The newly introduced 400m Ocean Swim is becoming increasingly popular and is being dominated by the youngsters with 12 year old Aminah Lindoor currently leading the ladies race from Emma Lacey and Anseri Nel whilst 12 year old Connor Craig is in the lead ahead of Daniel Richter and Timothy Barnes.
For the beach enthusiasts, 13 year old Lea De Villiers leads the standings in the 5km Beach Run with Masixole Sophangiso whilst Sarah Gibson and Taryn Ferreira are joint leaders in the 5km Beach Walk for ladies with Grobbie Grobler a clear leader in the Men’s Walk. Each race day the winners get 50 points towards their overall standings with each subsequent position receiving 5 less down to 9th place and from 10th place onwards, all finishers receive 5 points.
The Masakhane Future Stars program, sponsored by Greenacres Shopping Centre and Caltex Eastern Cape, has been boosted this weekend with the inclusion of 29 entries from the Khayalethu Youth Care Centre bringing the total number of participants supported to experience and take part in the Series to 60.
For newcomers, online registration prior to Sunday morning is highly encouraged as late entries on the day are subject to a R50 penalty. Timing chips at a once off R30 are also compulsory for the Series from this weekend.