The 9th Season of the popular Ocean Racing Series will conclude this Sunday morning with Round 11 taking place at Hobie Beach and followed by a glitzy Series prize giving ceremony at the Boardwalk.
The Series, which so far this season has attracted over 4,500 entries, is Africa’s largest family beach event drawing thousands of people to the city beach front on alternate Sunday mornings throughout the Summer months.
With just one week to Ironman South Africa, the Ocean Racing Series is expected to attract most of the visiting international Ironman competitors as they get to test the local waters ahead of their big day next Sunday. Starting at 9am from Hobie Beach alongside the pier, the most popular events on Sunday morning are expected to be the Dis-chem 2km and 1km Ocean Swims, closely followed by the Crickley Dairy Kids 1km Beach Run, the Kingfisher FM 5km Beach Run and the Swirlers 5km Beach Walk.
Organiser Mike Zoetmulder, of Zports, said the Series was designed to be enjoyed by everyone and has grown remarkably over the past 9 years. He believes the appeal of the Series is the fact that all members of the family are included and that age or gender wasn’t a restriction. From 6 months to 82 years, the Series continues to attract local families who are opting for a healthier lifestyle whilst enjoying the beachfront during the summer months. The 9th Season has seen a 15% increase in participation from last season and plans are already in effect to further boost this growth in Season 10 which will start on the 12th October and consist of 12 race days finishing in mid-April 2015.
Season 9 ends on a high this weekend with the top 3 overall age group finishers across all 5 disciplines on offer, being acknowledged for their achievements with medals and prizes whilst the overall Series winners will each receive awesome floating trophies. The prize giving function will take place at the News Cafe on the Boardwalk between 11am and 1pm with live entertainment by Anje Swart and over R50,000 in prizes, medals and lucky draws being awarded. Around 120 prizes for the overall winners have been sponsored by Bos Iced tea, Dis-Chem, Swirlers, Crickley Dairy, Times Media and Marriott.
Zoetmulder concluded that the economic impact of the Series for the City was massive when taking into account that not on is the Series drawing people from around the country to the Port Elizabeth beachfront but also the national media coverage which it generates over the 6 months of summer showcasing the Metro as the potential water sports capital of Africa. Despite the Series being expected to pay beach hire on race days, Zoetmulder was confident that the Municipality was aware of the impact that events like this has on the citizens of the city and would be supportive in growing such events.
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