It’s unique to Nelson Mandela Bay and has become a summer institution for fitness enthusiasts from around the country but this Sunday will be the last race morning for this Summer. The aQuellé Ocean Racing Series Season 13 started in October last year and will conclude on Sunday with race morning number 11 after having already entertained just under 4,000 entrants on Hobie Beach this season.
Each summer the Series has between 10 and 12 race mornings on mostly alternate Sunday’s at PE’s premier and safest bathing beach, Hobie Beach, where participants can choose to take part in 1 of 7 events on offer each race day. The most popular event this season having been the 1km Ocean Swim with 923 entries thus far this season followed by the Kids 1km Beach Run for 12 years and under with 700 entries and the 2km Ocean Swim the 3rd most popular with 684 entries this summer. Increasing in popularity is the 400m Ocean Swim which this season attracted 340 entries.
Top Series contenders will be going flat out this weekend to secure maximum points as they look to cement their Series result. In the 5km Beach Run, two times defending ladies champion Tara Sacke (14) has had a great battle with 13 year old Lea de Villiers but still trails the latter by 25 points in the overall standing. Likewise in the Men’s 5km Beach Run which will only be decided on Sunday morning with Masixole Sophangiso (14) from the Masakhane Future Stars program currently leading the standings by just 5 points from Jayson Archibald (10) and Mzwakhe Madoyinzana (18). The 5km Beach Walk overall titles have already been secured by Season 8 winner Taryn Ferreira and twice defending champion Grobbie Grobbler who have both been undefeated this Season.
Newcomer Aminah Lindoor (12) looks set to be the new 400m Ocean Swim ladies champion along side defending Men’s champion Connor Craig (12). Whilst last year’s 3km ladies champion opted for the quicker 1km race this year and will top the standings with a full house of wins whilst 2 times 1km Men’s Series winner, Ian Venter (19), has to win this Sunday to retain his title. Paige Black, Antonella Saporta and Denise Bosman are in a 3-way struggle to claim the ladies 2km Ocean Swim title this weekend with top EP Triathlete Keegan Cooke having already done enough to claim the Men’s 2km Ocean Swim title ahead of his brother Jarryd and Slater Black. The defending ladies 2km champion from last season, Chane de Jager, moved up to the 3km distance and looks set to take the Series trophy which sister Amica had last season and it’ll only be after Sunday that the Men’s 3km will be determined between Heinrich Vorster and Bruce Campbell.
The Season 13 Series finale starts at 9am on Sunday and is followed with the Kids 1km Beach Run Overall Series prize giving being hosted on the beach immediately after their Round 11 prize giving at about 10am. Due to the popularity of the event, the final Series prize giving function for the other events will be taking place at News Cafe, Boardwalk, on Monday evening between 6pm and 8pm with entry tickets required. At the final function, the top 3 overall winners in each of the events will be announced and honoured, as will the top 3 in each of the age groups in the events. Concluding the evening will be a massive lucky draw prize giving with over R10,000 in lucky draw prizes up for grabs including a Flying Fish patio cooler, a R500 Caltex Fuel voucher, a Blu_Smooth top of the range wetsuit and a whopping 43″ LED panel sponsored by Panasonic in Walmer.
Entries for Sunday morning are still available on the website www.zsports.co.za with late entries taken at the beach before 08h30. Tickets for the prize giving function are available online, from News Cafe or at the beach on Sunday.
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