The General Tire National Lifesaving Championships took place at King's Beach in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Durban Surf’s monopoly of the Nippers’ real estate in South African lifesaving was entrenched with the club’s overall victory at the General Tire National Championships in Port Elizabeth.

Durban Surf’s Tatum Botha predictably won the overall title in the Under-14 female division. Clifton’s Noar Lombard won the U14 male overall title.

Tatum, daughter of former national champion and South African international Dylan Botha, was the outstanding individual in all three days of competition. Brilliant for Durban Surf at the recent KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Championships, she was as imposing and impressive in dealing with the national challenge.

The youngster savoured her first place in Iron Nipper, which is considered toughest among the many event categories.

Tatum's champion effort completed a remarkable last few months, in which she won two Interprovincial Surf Lifesaving Titles and four South African Open Water Lifesaving titles. She also earlier in the week won the U14 Run/Swim/Run and yesterday continued her dominance in the U14s with a comfortable win in the Board final.

Fish Hoek’s Leah Winter was named female U13 overall competitor of the Nippers National Championship, while East London’s Jordan Fenn took the honours in the overall male U13 category.

Durban Surf’s Tannah Smith also enjoyed a very successful National Championship, and in 2018 the weather played its part to ensure Durban Surf could officially be crowned champions.

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A year ago, at the very same King’s Beach in Port Elizabeth, inclement weather and dangerous surfing conditions prematurely ended the 2017 General Tire National Championships.

Durban Surf had started well a year ago, but not enough category events were completed to determine an overall club winner. The Durban club had to be content with claiming a moral victory.

This time there was something tangible to the boast that the club’s Nipper elite, collectively, are the best in South Africa.

Durban Surf, with a combined 475 points, were comfortable champions.

Fish Hoek was second with 384 points, while Umhlanga Rocks took third place.

Mark Keohane

Cape Argus

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